When I look back on my life, one of the scariest memories I have was the time I was rock climbing. Somehow I got into a position where I was stuck. I was frozen to a giant slab of granite knowing I had to move but scared that if I lost my grip I would plummet far enough that my chances of getting badly hurt were considerable. I still remember asking for God’s help and for the immediate peace that came over me as He answered.
Mark 6:49,50—When they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke with them and said, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
It is easy to question the disciples’ mettle as we read about them from our sophisticated twenty-first century perch. We wonder how they could be terrified; after all, who really believes in ghosts? But think for a second. How would you feel at three in the morning rowing against battering waves if a figure came walking towards you on waves? I suspect there would be some screaming.
Never be afraid of fear. Fear is a natural first response to the unnatural. For example, a warrior being shot at should feel a certain amount of alarm. That surge of adrenalin that pulsates in the face of danger quickens the mind. Luke does not write that Jesus rebuked the disciples for being afraid or lectured them on the absurdity of ghosts. He identified Himself. He gave them courage.
God understands when you are afraid. The question is what will you let fear do in you? If it immobilizes you or causes panic, by all means cry out to Him. Remaining on the path of fright, clinging to apprehension will not bring victory. Saints walk in the assured trust that they can always cry out to the Lord. In times of quavering we need to ask God to reveal Himself. What we fear may be Him, what we cannot see He can reveal. In Him we find our courage.
Courage never takes away fear; courage simply redistributes fear to get the job done.—Dan Allender in Leading With A Limp
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)