When we were children, my brothers would at times try to build a floating raft, using spare boards and bits of rope. We watched many dramatic films of life and death experiences aboard life rafts, battling waves and sharks and storms, and craved those exciting stories for our own raft. As you can imagine, the raft always sunk soon after launch, so we kids were never in danger or afraid. There was always the quest for adventure, though, for being rescued from being pulled under by the waves.
Jesus knew that while on earth, at times, we will doubt and be afraid, and the words “Don’t be afraid” appear 365 times in the Scriptures. In I Timothy 1:5, the apostle Paul counsels, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (ESV) The fear we feel can be replaced with the love, strength of character and clear thinking that His presence gives us. Will power alone can’t help us defeat our fears, but His love can; His presence is the antidote to fear. Someone once said, Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s going ahead and doing it scared! When we make that choice to press on, even when everything seems unsteady, like on our homemade raft, remember His words, “Don’t be afraid”.
This is the best time to spend time reading God’s Word, taking in how much He loves you and has great plans for your life. When you believe in your heart what He says, hanging on to His life raft, the truth you have tucked away in your heart and mind will come back to you when you encounter life’s storms.
Sing with me: We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll, fastened to the Rock that cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love. (Priscilla Jane Owens, 1882) Amen.