Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as a Human Resources Specialist.
To me the term “thrill-seeker” is synonymous with “idiot.” I don’t find anything particularly enjoyable about any of the so-called “thrilling” activities. I am quite thrilled to be on the ground, on the couch, doing things that don’t require a helmet or an “I promise not to sue you when I am harmed/dismembered/killed” waiver.
I know that there are some adrenaline junkies out there reading this (or at least were reading this until I called them “idiots”) that would say, “You’re the reason they created chicken exits. Bawk, bawk, baGAWK!!” This is most likely true, as I have used them on more than one occasion. But I’m a chicken in one piece, thank you very much.
I’m just not a huge fan of being scared, so I sympathize with the disciples in this story. They were probably already nervous that they had been sent out to sea without their leader. Then in rushes a terrible wind causing waves to smash against their boat, and I would guess that they (and most likely their lunches) were being tossed about. You can just imagine the panic they must have been feeling. Had it been me, I would have been hyperventilating in the fetal position at that point.
But it’s interesting to see what it is that scares them the most, what makes them cry out in fear – Jesus. Granted, it was nature-defying, walking-on-water Jesus, but still… Jesus.
I imagine that if boats came with chicken exits, there would have been a mad dash for it that day. But since we now read this with our “hindsight is 20/20” vantage, we know that they would have been running from the very One that conquers death and gives life. They were terrified of their Savior, their friend.
I think that we still struggle with this today. There are times and things that we face in life that frighten us and make us want to run, but we must stop to realize that we may just be running from rather than to God in these instances. Matthew Henry puts it this way: “Even the appearances and approaches of deliverance are sometimes the occasions of trouble and perplexity to God’s people, who are sometimes most frightened when they are least hurt.” We want so badly to be delivered from the very things that might be delivering us to Christ.
We can be certain that we will be faced with all sorts of terrifying situations and challenges, but they aren’t all ghosts. No sometimes they are the voice of the Redeemer saying, “Don’t be afraid! It is I! Take courage, and come to me.”