Why are You Afraid…?!
Seismos. Seismologists study earthquakes…seismographs measure them.
Seismos Defined: Word-forming element meaning “earthquake…a shaking, shock; ” from seiein “to shake,” from PIE root *twei- “to agitate, shake, toss.”
“It is the word Matthew uses when remembering the storm on the sea of Galilee. ‘Jesus got into the boat and his followers got in with him and a great storm (seismos) arose on the lake so that the waves covered the boat.’
“Seismos. Obviously, this was no small storm. Matthew used it two other times in his gospel. Once to describe the shaking of the earth at the death of Christ and once to describe the shaking of the at the resurrection of Christ. Here he uses it to describe how Christ can conquer our fears!
“Suddenly, a great storm came upon us. Not all fears come suddenly. Some of them do, of course. But some just seem to come up through the tall grasses like a lion and…pounce on us.
“You would expect to get on a boat with Christ and have things go smoothly…a rainbow arched over the boat…or doves flying close by. But it is as though Matthew is saying, ‘Get on board with Christ and you might get soaked with Christ.’
“It’s not the absence of storms that sets us, as believers apart. It is what we discover in the storm!
“Here is the line you want to underline in Matthew 8: ‘Jesus is sleeping.’ In the midst of this seismos…this storm and the screams of the disciples…Jesus was sleeping! They wake Him up and He lifts His head and asks an honest question, ‘Why are you afraid?’
“Any chance He is asking you the same question?”
To us, this question might seem ludicrous…even comical after the storm calms and we review what happened. We might ask with both humor and a fair amount of exasperation, “Why are we afraid…Why were we afraid???”
“Life comes with fears. Fear serves its purpose. Adrenaline kicks in and we avoid dangerous situations, habits, even relationships. We even have a healthy fear of the Lord. But mismanagement of fear can lead to sin.
“When we treat our fears with drunken binges, or sullen moods or vice-like control…we exclude God and become dominated by fear and allow it to define our lives. This…is what God warns us against.
“More than any other command in Scripture, God warns us, ‘Do not be afraid…do not live in a state of fear.’”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
“Fear is always going to knock on your door…always. But you don’t have to answer. Don’t invite it in for dinner and for heaven’s sake don’t invite it in for the night.
“Fear will always fill the world but it does not have to fill your heart. You really can fear less tomorrow than you do today.”
Pastor Lucado tells that, at age 6, after watching Wolfman on television, he truly believed the awful monster hid out in his living room. Night after night he would go in and awaken his dad, who would patiently get out of bed and walk him into the kitchen for a drink of water and lovingly calm his fears. He would look up at his dad while sipping his water and think… “What kind of man is this?!”
“Jesus raised his head up when the disciples cried out in fear and…He calmed the storm. Could it be that Jesus sees our fears like my dad saw mine?
“Could it be that all that stands between you and courage…is a prayer to your heavenly father?”
Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV) 23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”