Ever had a “Bushuru” moment?

Recently a celebrated and admired life-coach to the rich and famous identified the greatest barrier to success to be fear of failure. Fear of change, fear of failure, and even fear of success sometimes paralyzes people keeping them from the goals they desire. For example, the “millennial” experiences fear of being independent from family to the extent that they avoid opportunities for advancement and shun independence. Likewise, parents are sometimes are fearful that their children will no longer love them if they are disciplined, so they try to be best friends instead. In either case, fear causes failure.

During the ministry of Christ, we witness first-hand just how powerful a force fear can be in people’s lives. In Mark 4:35-41 we learn of an occasion in which the Disciples and Jesus found themselves traveling at night across the Sea of Galilee when a storm appeared. This sudden storm, common to the region, came about quickly when “there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat” (Mark 4:37, NASB).

The word translated “gale” refers to the momentum of the storm as that similar to a mighty whirlwind, or hurricane. Needless to say, the storm Jesus and his disciples experienced was likely the fiercest , most dangerous, one they had ever seen. It’s no wonder Jesus inquired of them after they had awakened him from sleep, “why are you so afraid?” Clearly, they were terrified about the storm occurring outside the boat and were nearly paralyzed with fear.

The surreal scene unfolds as the Lord of the universe commands the wind and the waves to “be still.” We know from the language used that the calm that occurred was immediate, and complete. It was not a mere ripple of water stirred in the Sea after Jesus’ command. It is within the calm of the moment that faith came into focus, or lack thereof.

It is interesting that Jesus places the blame of their fear on a lack of faith. He said emphatically, “do you still have no faith?” After Jesus said this to his Disciples, it says that they became “very much” afraid. In other words, the storm that happened outside the boat caused them to be afraid, but it was the reality that the one who is greater than the storm was, in fact, inside the boat!

Fear arises out of impending peril from a hurricane-force storm, but it also arises out of the realization that the same one who created the elements themselves, even the storm, is actually in the boat with us! What does this mean practically for me, and the storms of my life? Fear causes stunted spiritual growth. Jesus said, “why do you still have no faith” (Mark 4:40, NASB).

Fear keeps us from trusting in Jesus. When we experience storms, we fail to trust in him to see us through. The “calm” he provides reveals the awesome power of God to save.

Fear prevents us from reaching our full potential. Whether you are afraid of the storm, or even the one who calms the storm, success in life depends on a deep abiding faith.

The truth is that fear keeps us from experiencing not only respite from the storms of our lives, but more importantly, it keeps us from true faith in the one who calms the storms. The Lord said, “fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB).

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