“Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” (Matthew 8:26)
When I was about 12 years old, my father built me a small sailing dinghy (a Manly Junior) which I would sail out on Sydney Harbor. On one occasion the weather turned quickly. The wind whipped up fiercely into our faces and my friend and I could not get back to our launch site. We dropped the jib and pushed through the choppy waters to the nearest beach. It was a memorable day!
The disciples faced more than just some strong wind in their faces. A southerly-buster had struck the Sea of Galilee and their boat was taking on water at an alarming rate. These experienced boatmen feared they might be swamped and their boat might sink, while Jesus slept in the stern. “Save us Lord; we are perishing!” they cried out to Him above the howling wind and threatening storm. And He simply asked:
“Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!”
If we look around us for even a moment we may feel the same palpitations as those first disciples.
Financial pressures weigh heavily on many of us. How will we ever pay off the credit cards or pay for that education, a house, our taxes, that medical procedure, those car repairs, or retirement? “Save us Lord; we are perishing!”
Relational pressures can burden us. Can we ever get our kids back from the dark places they have gone? What sucked the joy out of my marriage? Will I ever be able to make new friends or real friends? How will I ever survive the people at work? “Save us Lord; we are perishing!”
Political pressures take on a life of their own. Every day seems to highlight new global threats. ISIS. Syria. Iraq. Afghanistan. North Korea. Terrorism. Refugees. Sex trafficking. Drug cartels. Identity theft. International scams. “Save us Lord; we are perishing!”
Whether our plight rests within the four walls of our homes, the streets of our communities, or the nations of the world, Jesus continues to ask this penetrating question: “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!”
When my faith is smallest, my fear is greatest.
If we truly live by faith, and if faith is truly trust, then behind every moment of anxiety and every circumstance of uncertainty, we have hope. And in the face of trust and hope, fear subsides.
Do you sense a storm brewing? On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus sensed the storm brewing for Himself, too. He knew that the next few days would test Him severely. Yet, faith, hope, and calling carried Him forward and through it all. Will we cling to the same in our own lives?