I’ve been reminded how fragile my faith is sometimes. I hate admitting this, but God has shown me it’s true. I suppose it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” We see time after time in the bible that this is apparently part of the human condition. Elijah goes from triumphant to terrified. David stakes his life on God and is victorious, but later wavers. And the disciples, who were with Jesus face-to-face… well, bless their hearts. (And bless mine too.)
They’ve watched Jesus turn water into wine and heal the sick. They witness Him turn five loaves and two fish into an all-you-can-eat feast for 5,000. That very evening as the disciples were struggling with their boat in the wind, Jesus walks across the lake to help and they freak out. They think He’s a ghost and are terrified! Mark’s gospel tells us “They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” John’s gospel adds that after they took Jesus into the boat, they immediately got where they were heading. No more struggle.
Sounds ridiculous that they would doubt or misunderstand Jesus at this point. I think the reason I’m compelled to laugh (okay, maybe even snort) at the thought of them screaming in terror is because I probably wouldn’t have reacted much differently. Putting total faith in God can be scary stuff, even when we whole-heartedly believe. He has shown me repeatedly that He is trustworthy and yet, when the next struggle comes I often default to my emotions. He wants to help, but I’m scared. His ways are not my ways, I don’t always understand. But Jesus gently reminds me “It is I, don’t be afraid.” And I let Him in. And I get where I’m going.