“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith? ” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
The late Alvin Rogness (former president of Luther seminary) once told a story from his days as a young father. He and his wife Nora had six small children. He would often lay awake at night, worrying about what would become of Nora and the kids if anything should happen to him. Did he have enough life insurance or savings? Not in those early days. Perhaps their six uncles would step in to provide. But they were all younger with concerns of their own. These anxieties burdened him and when they did he thought back to a moment when he was six years old. His father was ill during the influenza epidemic of 1919 which killed many people. While his father lay sick in another room, Al climbed into bed with his mother. He asked her, “Mommy, what will we do if Daddy dies?” His mother replied, “God will take care of us.” Then, he was able to go to sleep.
The fears eminating from tommorrow, whether great or small, can tempt us to make self-reliance our only recourse. Fear has a way of doing that. Fear of tommorrow may also loom so large that it is hard to see beyond it, to see a way through.
After my divorce almost thirty years ago, I took a two year sabbatical, moved to Denver, Colorado and worked for my brother. No longer a husband, away from my sons, friends and the minstry, the role adjustments were overwhleming. Like my friend Al Rogness, I lay awake at night, filled with anxiety over the future. Then, one day a Christian co-worker, sensing my fears, took me aside. He said, “Mark you are a pastor. Don’t ever forget something you have probably said to many. God takes care of His people.” Those words of promise opened the future for me. Fear was gone. Trust returned.
Caught in a storm, the disicples were gripped by fear. It was not that they had no faith.They had too little faith, as the Lord told them. This is where most of us find ourselves. Perhaps you find yourself laying awake at night in these chaotic and turbulent times, hounded by fears, consumed with what might be, fearful of being overwhelmed. If so, I have a word that meets you in your greatest fears and your flimsy faith: God takes care of His people. He really does, you know. It’s a promise you can trust. For it comes from Him who calms wind and sea – and fearful hearts.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”