The beginning of the song talks about getting out of the boat, into the crashing waves where Jesus is.
This led me to imagine being Peter in that boat, out in the open waters, the wind moving the boat all around, and being called to step out on faith to walk on the surface of the lake.
I don’t know about you, but, just imagining that, REALLY imagining that, gets my heart racing and makes me breathless with fear. And that’s just anxiety-ridden me, sitting in my car, shuddering at the thought of my faith being put to the test in the way that Jesus’ disciples’ were.
Would I have enough faith to take those steps and truly believe I wouldn’t sink? Wow. It’s a powerful scenario.
Of all of the things I struggle with, my greatest struggle by far is fear, anxiety, and incessant worrying. All of the things that God tells us to put in His hands, yet I won’t let go. It’s been said that fear and faith cannot occupy the heart at the same time.
Because, how can I have faith that my God will take care of these small troubles I face, if I am continually in fear of tomorrow? Fears racing through my mind, the unknowns like: What will happen? How will people react to that? What should I do if it comes to this? What if this and what if that?!!!
But Jesus tells us time and time again not to be afraid and to trust Him.
He said in Matthew chapter 6,
Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? …So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
And in Matthew chapter 8,
You of little faith, why are you so afraid?
And in Matthew chapter 10 He tells his disciples not to be afraid of mere men:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.
Because there is a healthy fear of God, not that we should sit around scared of him and anticipating His wrath, but that we should be aware of His ultimate power and that we should want to please ONLY Him because He is all that matters.
…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
Francis Chan has a great quote about that, in the context of the kingdom of God: “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
And then there is the completely unjustified anxiety that occupies my mind and sometimes takes hold of my joy.
Philippians 4:6 says,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
After all, what is the worst that can happen? I can be humiliated, made to feel uncomfortable or awkward, I can be tortured and put through unimaginable pain. Man can kill my Earthly human body, but I am forever in Christ.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Romans 8:31, 35-39
If God is for us, who can be against us?….
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?….
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Those verses in Romans are so powerful. They remind us that God will never forsake us, He loves us and we need to not worry about every little thing that He has already promised us He will take care of for us.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul talks about the common thread of man, that we are all tempted and tried. And in my life, fear is a form of temptation. It tempts me to throw everything away, to give up, to lose hope, to completely fall apart. But, as Paul describes,
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
For me this is a great relief. God knows my every thought, he knows my struggles and fears. And most importantly, he knows my heart and what I can handle. Though my fear and anxiety threatens to derail my life sometimes, God knows that I can persevere and will be stronger coming out of the other side. This is a great realization for me: when great anxieties and worries are transformed
being a consuming darkness that seems to have no end, taking control of me
my human weakness that God will deliver me from
(so long as
I remain firm in faith that He is strong enough to do anything in my life,)
I can see it as a blessing.
Whew! This changes everything.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
The great C.S. Lewis has a wonderful, incredibly helpful quote about the kind of anxiety disorders that we just can’t seem to shake:
“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.”
And through Christ we will overcome our fears, anxieties, worries, and afflictions.
It would be such an honor to come out from that boat and take those steps toward Jesus, completely focused on Him and His remarkable power and strength, without a flicker of fear or doubt in my mind.
‘Cause it’s been fear that ties me down to everything,
but it’s love, Your love that cuts the strings…
so long, status quo, I think I just let go,
You make me wanna be brave.
The way it always was is no longer good enough,
You make me wanna be brave.