Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (Mark 4:40)
Why in the world would Jesus ask this question to His frightened disciples who just encountered a furious storm on the Sea of Galilee? It’s pretty obvious that they were terrified that they were going to die. Fair enough, but look carefully at the Lord’s question. His exact words were “Why ARE you terrified?”, not “Why WERE you terrified?” Jesus had stilled the storm, but they were still terrified.
The fact that they were still afraid even though “the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39) speaks volumes. The storm was gone, but yet they were still afraid. Hmmm. What’s that all about?
Since they never answered Jesus’ question I can’t say for sure, but I do have some ideas. There’s a good chance that, even though the seas were calm for now, they feared that the storm might start up again. Yes, the immediate problem was gone, but what if it reappeared? Sure, Jesus came through for us this time, but what if he doesn’t come through next time? Those same two words (“what if”) that cause us so much unnecessary anxiety could have been plaguing them as well.
As we wrap up Week One of Give Up Worry For Good, I invite you to consider something I wrote in the book…
In order to stop worrying, we need hope. In addition to believing it is possible to lead a worry-free life, we also need to believe that God loves us and can handle our problems. A big part of maintaining hope involves recognizing how many times things turned out better than expected. List some “serious” problems that caused you great anxiety but ended up working out well. Try to estimate how much time you spent worrying about these problems.
Up until now, you’ve survived every storm you encountered. If the Lord has come through in the past, why wouldn’t He come through in the future?
Next week we’ll concentrate on God’s infinite power. After all, it’s a lot easier to turn to him with our problems if we believe he can handle them.
Let not your heart be troubled!