“‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage! I am here!’” (Mark 6:50b, NLT).
When a child is frightened, parents often tell him or her, it’s OK, I’m here. I’ve said it myself, even though I may or may not have been able to change the scary circumstance. A child will calm down simply because of the parent’s presence.
Jesus often told people not to be afraid, even though what was happening around them was quite frightening. In this instance, the disciples were on a boat in a raging storm. They saw what they thought was a ghost coming toward them, which further terrified them. He told them not to worry before he climbed in the boat and calmed the winds, adding “I am here.” We are fearful of many things in life but because we trust in the presence of Jesus, we can take courage and stop being afraid. He will calm the storm and even if he doesn’t, he’s here to talk us through.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).
Fear can keep us from doing many things we would otherwise like to do, including simple things like talk to people or try new foods. It can keep us from fulfilling our dreams of writing that book or even writing a blog. But God says we shouldn’t be afraid, because he will strengthen and help us. Just knowing this in our heads doesn’t help much when faced with a situation we’ve been dreading; we have to experience it and learn how to trust him.
I’ve had to face many fears, including the big one – public speaking. I wanted to run away a few times, but instead I took a deep breath, said it’s up to you Lord, help me, and he did. He held me up when I got up to speak and my knees were weak and shaking. He gave me the strength I needed and the confidence to keep trusting him. Don’t be afraid to let him hold you up.