“And He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith’” (Mark 4:40)?
You can sense it hanging in the air—fear and faith—and that’s okay. When the unexpected occurs, fear is the natural response. From the angel’s Messianic pronouncement to Mary, to the first words spoken to the disciples by the resurrected Christ, the gospels are bookended with the comforting charge, “Do not be afraid.” Faith, however, is the supernatural response to life’s fearful uncertainties; it perseveres through them, believing that the purposes of God will triumph. Even so, a supernatural faith, that prevails over natural fears, emerges over time and the experience of enduring life’s hardships; seeing that the unexpected roads are the very paths used by God to venture us toward unimagined destinations. When faith and fear lie in tension, it is in these times that growth and understanding most often occur. It was true for the disciples then, and it is nonetheless so for us today.