I have a child who is terrified of spiders. And today, that fear climaxed in his unwillingness to touch a book that had a spider on the cover. It took a half hour of work to get him to finally touch it and put it away, and that half hour was pure torture.
So naturally, I've been reflecting on fear. Someone recently made a comment about a Bible story that really made a profound difference for me.
This person was talking about the story of when Jesus calmed the storm. He had gone in a boat with his disciples and had fallen alseep in the boat despite a loud and turbulent storm. His disciples were terrified for their lives and finally woke Jesus out of desperation. Jesus got up, calmed the wind and the waves and then turned to his disciples and said, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
Now, typically when people look at this passage, they focus on the display of Jesus' power and come away with the realization that he is Lord of all creation. Rightly so. But there's another thing to notice here.
Why is it that Jesus is able to sleep through a storm that has his disciples paralyzed with fear? Perhaps he was tired. Well, likely he was. He had just been preaching to large crowd for quite some time and was likely exhausted. But even a storm can wake you from a deep sleep.
No, there's a different reason why Jesus slept. He wasn't afraid.
Well, why not? Because Jesus had complete trust in his Father! There was no need for him to fear. He knew that his days were measured out and that no storm or evil intention or angry crowd could cause him harm without his Father's consent. I can't think of a single time in Jesus' life where the Bible says he was afraid. He had no need to be.
Imagine the implications of this! I mean, really, how many times does the Bible say, "So do not fear"!! The fears that I have ultimately come down to a lack of trust in my heavenly Father. Likewise the fears my children have are a lack of trust in God.
So, my challenge today is to teach my son that trusting God encompasses all aspects of life. Even dealing with ugly spiders, or being in the dark or feeling alone. God is with us, he sees us and he's a whole lot bigger than whatever we may fear.