Last night a friend and I were on the beach when she started to share with me how angry she had become with the ocean. The ocean was something she loved and enjoyed all of her life and since Super Storm Sandy hit and the devastation it incurred, she now finds herself fearful of it and angry with it. At the same time she had shared this with me, a sixteen year old boy, not far from where we were took his kayak out into the ocean. He fearlessly paddled as we watched him drift farther and farther out of our vision getting caught in a rip tide. He seemed to have disappeared completely from our sight. Panic arose from the watchers as well as the boy’s family. Someone called the police who called the coast guard who called the EMT’s. We began to pray for this boy to be freed from the current. Almost instantly he began to find his way out of the rip tide coming into our vision again and head towards shore as the coast guard met him along the way.
Relief washed over us as he stepped out of his kayak safely.
At that moment I think we both realized something very important. Anger and fear have no place on the spiritual journey of discipleship. God was in control. It reminded me of the time Jesus and his disciples were out at sea on a boat (see Mark 4:35-42) and a storm comes in and they are terrified Jesus gets up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
We are never to fear. Scripture tells us 365 times “Do not fear!! One for each day of the year. This means God really wants us to trust him. He has power over everything and he directs all of our steps. This doesn’t mean you should be careless, wreckless or test the Lord, but to have faith that God will work things out for good. Proverbs 3:6 says in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. We have to trust him in all circumstances good and bad. There is nothing that happens to you that He is not aware of and it is only when we humbly submit to Him that he steps in and points us to the open door away from our troubles rebuking it as he did the storm at sea.
When we returned to our spot on the beach my friend did just that, she entered the sea and submitted her fear to God.
Victory was accomplished for her and peace rests back in her heart, as it always does when we submit our fears to the Lord.