11 Jan Trust over Tide
We have all felt fear and anxiety at least once during our lifetime. Especially during the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the fear of contracting the virus and the anxiety to know about trends in the virus has made us all pass through a tough stage. In recent years, the United States Department of the Treasury has frequently defaulted on debt, putting the recession at stake. In 2022, I saw a video where the boss of a company organized a Zoom meeting and mentioned that all the employees who were part of this Zoom meeting would be removed from the company. Later, there were massive layoffs due to the fear of a recession.
Fear is one of the basic emotions of a human being, like happiness, joy, sadness, etc. It can be triggered in the nervous system when we are threatened, sense danger, or feel unsafe. Similarly, anxiety makes it difficult for us all to go through a day.
In the book “Elephant in the Brain,” written by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson, the authors try to explain that, for an alpha male to retain its position, it will not allow a beta male to be stronger than itself. The fear that beta overrides alpha is always hidden behind strict authoritarianism or hierarchy among the creatures. The same is true of human beings.
If we fail at a task, we are always low and anxious about the further consequences that it will lead to because we are afraid of being overridden by others. But the resurrection gives us the only hope of doing it all over again. The hope that any good task that we perform (through many failures) will bring glory to Christ, for which we will be rewarded as per our deed, should make us move through even the toughest of situations.
We have various instances in the Bible where people have trusted in the Lord during their times of distress and trouble. Let us look at an instance of calming the storm. Israel is full of amazing places. One such place is the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Tiberias, has a length and width of 21 km, and 13 km is the scene of many biblical sights. It is one of very few (probably the only one) freshwater lakes that gets heavy tides due to the sudden flow of air from the Golan Heights. Even Peter, who was a disciple and an expert fisherman, feared the power of the tides. The disciples feared to such an extent that they finally . . . woke up the person whom they loved very much in a panic state to help them (see the contrast; they might have said that all of us are perishing rather than we are perishing). They were quite surprised by the fact that, despite the heavy tides, Jesus was resting peacefully (due to his hectic schedule), and probably the waves were even afraid of waking him up. Jesus woke up and rebuked the disciples. The trust that disciples have in Jesus is far greater than their trust in themselves because they believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God (Mt. 16:16).
The biggest fear a human can have in life is the fear of death, and the fear (anxiety) of death has been coined as thanatophobia. We (Christians) are different from others in that we don’t fear death since it will not be the only end to life. The supernatural miracle of the Resurrection of the Lord gives us renewed hope, in which our faith was built by believing in fact without seeing.
“In God, I trust” (Ps. 56:4) echoes the faith we have in him. We do not believe in a demi-god that can put people at stake (God or Baal on Mount Carmel, 1 Kings 18:20-40).
The God we believe in listens to us, leads us through all our fears, and delivers us from our anxieties through his mighty hand. We may be facing heavy turbulence in our lives like the psalmist, but he didn’t work like us but gave us his famous oracles, which should be our guiding light,
i.e., “Trust in the LORD” (Ps. 37:3).
Satan, through his various tactics, makes all of us go through fearful situations. Make sure to pass through all such calamities with faith intact. Our role model, Christ, also suffered like us, and he endured everything until the end of his life. Similarly, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6). Our God has led saints to pass through difficult and perilous times; he will even lead us if we trust and obey him and him alone. Saint Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7). We should also go through fearful situations and situations that trigger our anxiety only to fight with it to earn the Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8).
Theophilus Gera is doing his Masters in Mathematics at Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology. He is an active member of SVNIT EU, Surat, Gujarat