Following Jesus can be scary.
There’s a familiar story in the Bible of Jesus taking a nap on a boat while He and His disciples head to the other side of a lake. During His rest, a giant storm begins to swell up and sink the boat. The disciples are terrified. In their panic, they wake Jesus up and ask Him if He even cares about their lives. Jesus, being the God of all creation, simply looks at the storm and speaks three words:
“Quiet! Be still!”
Immediately the storm calmed.
He then turns to His friends and asks, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
The story could have ended there and we would have all been amazed. But something interesting happens. The Scriptures go on to say, “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the winds and waves obey him!’” (Mark 4:41).
The disciples were scared out of their minds at the thought of drowning in the lake that day. They were completely out of control. But do you know what terrified them? Being in the presence of a man, the God of the universe, who had even more power than the storm.
Being in a storm where you have no control is scary. But, being near a God who can control the uncontrollable can be terrifying.
If you love the idea of having control, you will probably find yourself terrified as you draw closer to Jesus. Because here’s the thing: He’s uncontrollable. And the more you get to know Christ, the more you realize how not-in-control you really are.
At any moment He may ask you to quit your job, move to a new neighborhood, forgive someone who has hurt you deeply, or sacrificially give beyond what you feel capable of.
But I think Jesus would say to you and me the same thing He said to His friends on the boat that day: “Why are you so afraid?”
The good news of the gospel reminds us that we don’t have to fear anymore. It reminds us that we can step out in faith to radically give, love, and forgive because even when everything fails around us, Jesus hasn’t left us alone in the boat; His Spirit lives inside us.
That’s the kind of life I want my kids to see. I want them to look back at their childhood and see a daddy who chased after Jesus harder than he chased after comfort—even if that involved taking risks with our time, money, and emotions.
In our house, we know that following Jesus can be scary. We often talk about how God will push us beyond our comforts to see His kingdom grow in our hearts and in our neighborhood. But we are pushing each other to step out in faith as we remember that our security isn’t found in money, relationships, or comfort. Our security and hope is found in Christ alone.