“Faith Your Fears”


I was afraid to swim in water over my head until the summer between third and fourth grades. It was not for lack of effort or opportunity. I took outdoor swim lessons at the park district pool, and indoor swim lessons at the YMCA and at the high school. I could do all the basic strokes, could float on my front and back, could hold my breath underwater…but I would not go into water if I couldn’t stand on the bottom. I never explored the source of this particular fear, I just had it. I had it until the day that my swimming teacher met me in my fear, came into the water, and had me swim to her gradually farther away from my comfort zone. I never had that particular fear again.


Depending on when you’re reading this, you’re either just about to hear or have just heard the story of Jesus calming the sea and the storm (Mark 4:35-41). The storm came up quickly, and what had been calm conditions changed dramatically. Jesus was coming off a long day of teaching very large crowds. He did what many preachers do on Sunday afternoon…he took a nap. His disciples flew into a panic and woke him up. Jesus was not pleased. He first calmed the sea and wind. And then asked, “Why are you such cowards?” And then the clincher, “Do you still have no faith?”


Jesus is not talking about what they profess to believe, but about the basic trust that when they are in the boat with him, or on the shore with him, or in a house with him, or at the table with him, or at the cross with him, he will carry them through it. Whatever the outcome, it will be more bearable because he is there.


What are your deepest fears? Not only what do you fear, but what do you fear might happen? We might not find ourselves in a boat on stormy seas, but most days there are people and forces churning things up around us. And we might not be able to see the bottom, let alone touch it.


But we have a teacher, a friend, a Lord and God who meets us where we are and invites us to be with him. And the trust that we need is just enough that we will not pull away from him. That is faith in our fears.


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Don Wink



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