In light of the Colorado tragedy I have been reminded of how we live in a world driven by fear. Fear of money. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. All of these fears drive us to do or not do things that otherwise wouldn’t have affected us. The news of the shooting came particularly shocking to me because I was a mere 20 minutes away when it happened. Yes, I was in Colorado.
The days after the incident, I watched Denver seemingly go “back to normal.” People didn’t seem paralyzed by fear. No one was taking different routes on the highway to avoid all movie theaters. There weren’t people walking around in bulletproof vests. From what it seemed, people weren’t letting the events shatter their daily lives.
But like I said, I think we live in a world driven by fear. And while we give off the persona to the people around us that we’re fine, we have got it all together, the truth of the matter is, we’re inches away from the breakdown. What I’m saying is, just because you don’t see a crowd sporting bulletproof clothing doesn’t mean they’re not stricken in fear inside.
Whenever I think about fear I think about the story of the big storm when Jesus was asleep and the disciples were in full out panic mode. I’m not hating on the disciples for panicking, because I know I would have been the first person on that Worry Train. I would have been the first person casting lots to throw “Jonah” overboard, screaming around the boat like a madwoman and eventually curling up in a dark corner rocking myself back and forth, crying hysterically. I think sometimes this story gets misinterpreted, where people read it and think, “Jesus sleeps through the storms.”
In situations like this recent Colorado one, I hear people ask, “Where was God in this?” “Was He there?” “Why did He let this happen?” “Is God asleep?”
But hear me when I say this – Jesus doesn’t sleep through the storm.
I don’t know whatever fear has taken over in your heart. Maybe it’s about finding a job or a place to live or you’re afraid you’re never going to get married. Whatever it is, I promise you, Jesus is right there with you. He’s not asleep, He’s not panicking, He’s not thinking, “Oh man, I let this one slip up. Oh well, time for a nap.” You see, the story of the storm isn’t saying our God is suffering from mono, it is so we can grasp the fact that NO storm and NO great fear is big enough to shake our God.
Do not let the fears you face cripple your life. Do not let the fear of anger keep you from going to see a good movie, spending time with loved ones at the park and living your life. Your fear may be big, but God is bigger. He is greater and higher and larger and far more than enough.
There may be some point in your life where you will find yourself a mere 20 minutes away from an unexpected tragedy. I pray you will find strength in weakness, hope in darkness and love in the midst of hate.
If you ask me, I can tell you exactly where Jesus was at midnight last Thursday. He wasn’t watching TV. He wasn’t on an airplane. He wasn’t sleeping. Yes, Jesus was in Colorado.