Mark 6: 50b “But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.”
There is not much that calms fear like the voice and presence of someone we love and trust. The panic of the lost child in a crowded shopping mall turns to tears of relief when he sees his parent’s face and hears the familiar voice. The distressed patient gains courage when his familiar doctor arrives at the hospital. And the child of God can face any storm if he knows Jesus rides in the boat.
Twenty-seven years ago I found myself in a very scary situation. I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with Emily and developed some concerning symptoms. After numerous tests the doctor ordered a C-section. On the morning of Nov. 18, 1993, a nurse strapped me to a gurney and left me completely alone in a cold and empty hospital hallway for what seemed like an eternity. I was frightened beyond belief as I waited for this surgery to bring my baby into the world and hopefully mitigate my alarming test results.
But I clearly remember the sense of relief I felt when I heard my doctor’s voice floating down the hallway. He arrived and squeezed my hand. I knew that, somehow, all would be well.
Jesus and His disciples had had an exhausting day. Crowds had followed them wherever they went. And even after crossing the sea in a boat to find a secluded spot, the people reappeared on the other side, clambering for more teaching and miracles. Finally, after feeding the 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish, Jesus sent His disciples out onto the lake again while He stayed to dismiss the crowds and spend solitary time praying.
The wind picked up very early in the morning, and as Jesus looked out into the lake He saw His disciples struggling to keep the boat on course. So He set out to come to them, walking on the water. The exhausted men screamed with terror because they supposed the apparition to be a ghost. Immediately Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished.”
Is the wind whipping around you at this time in your life? Are you lost in a crowd, waiting for the results of a crucial medical test, or wondering how you will face the storm that is brewing on the horizon? There is no need to panic because you are not alone. If you look carefully through the mist and listen attentively for His voice you will hear your Savior’s comforting words, “Take courage, my child; it is I, do not be afraid!” Invite Jesus to ride in your boat. His loving and faithful presence will melt your fear into a peaceful calm.
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.