If you have watched the news or read the headlines in the last few weeks you have probably heard about the outbreak of the Ebola disease. Every major network is airing around-the-clock coverage and every detail is being broadcast concerning the sickness.
Unfortunately, this disease is also creating widespread panic. As our TVs and phone screens deliver more and more grim news about the disease, I feel we are slowly beginning to lose focus. We are being faced with opportunity after opportunity to live in panic.
How though do we live in peace, when it feels so natural to live in panic? As Christians, how are we to respond to Ebola or any other impending disaster?
I think that we can learn a lot from looking at Jesus’ interaction with His disciples in Mark Chapter 4. In this story, Jesus leads the disciples on a journey across an expanse of sea where they encounter a great storm.
“35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.”
As the wind and the waves of the storm grew, so did the panic and worry of the disciples. Eventually, the disciples reach out to Jesus for help where they find Him asleep right in the middle of the storm.
38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Much like how the disciples forgot that Jesus was leading their journey across the sea, I think we are forgetting who is leading the journey of our life. The storm was no surprise to Jesus and neither is Ebola.
Even when it seems that we have lost control, Jesus hasn’t.
Instead of worrying, we can pray.
Instead of obsessing over the problem, we can focus on the solution.
Instead of panicking, we can live in peace.
No storm, no disease, and no tragedy is bigger than our God.
As Christians, let’s be the hope in the midst of hopelessness… peace in the presence of panic… and faith in the face of despair.
When you are given the opportunity to fear, have faith instead. Fear always bows to faith.
There will always be tribulation in this fallen world. There will always be darkness and brokeneness to fight against, but I firmly believe that as the suffering increases in this world so does the power, presence, and peace of our God.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”