This summer I will be taking a sabbatical to travel and work in Managua, Nicaragua. It is an exciting opportunity to refresh, change speeds, and to serve the needs of the Nicaraguan people. Our entire family has parts of this adventure that excite us, but we also each have parts that make us anxious. I’m anxious about how well I will be able to function given my inadequate Spanish. My wife is nervous about the financial side of our family traveling to Nicaragua. My six-year old son, who exists on a diet of pizza, hotdogs, and chips, is fairly terrified of Nicaraguan food. And my 10-year old daughter is anxious about spending a summer away from friends. There are so many things to be really excited about, but sometimes these anxieties start to overshadow all those positives.
I can’t imagine that there are many, if any, people that live without worry and anxiety. They are simply a part of our human existence. The problem is that worry and anxiety can keep us from living the life God has called us to live. In fact, worry is probably the #1 reason I hear people give for not serving God. “I would do that, but I worry I’d do poorly” or “I’d love to donate more, but I’m worried about how that would affect my bank account.” Think about this in your own life: how often does worry stop you from serving God and others?
There is a famous scripture where Jesus and his disciples trying to cross the Sea of Galilee. Jesus told his disciples that they were going to cross the sea together, then went inside to sleep during the journey. The small vessel encountered an enormous storm, which greatly worried the disciples. As they nervously tried to hold the ship together they were dismayed that Jesus, who had told them to cross the sea in the first place, was sleeping through it all. They even accused Jesus of not caring about their predicament. Upon waking up Jesus simply said “peace, be still!” and the storm ceased. He then admonished the disciples for their lack of faith in him.
Jesus told his disciples he would take them to the other shore, and he had no intent on reneging on that promise. Jesus has made us some huge promises in our life. He has promised to be with us, to love us through all things, and to give us eternal life in a perfect heaven. No matter what difficulties and storms we encounter in life those promises remain firm. Look friends, I totally understand that there is A LOT to be nervous about in our world today. But, I also know that there is not a single storm that can expel Christ’s presence, love, and salvation from our lives. In our moments of worry, nerves, and anxiety lets take a moment to remember that Jesus’ presence, love, and salvation will always be with us, and that they are much greater then any difficulty we can encounter.