Posted on September 30, 2019 in General
We have a son who is deathly afraid of his head getting wet. Bath time can be tricky and loud. Recently I’ve been taking him to a small indoor pool to help him get used to the water. We get a little bit of attention when we go, because he clings to my neck and screams the whole time.
I whisper calming words to him in the water. He calms in waves, but then his little mind starts thinking about it again, and his screams swell back to noises only dogs can hear. His fear is real. He is terrified that he is about to sink into the water. On one of our recent trips, I found myself thinking ironically about his name, Simon Peter. You have to admit, it is a little funny that he is named after a disciple who walked on water.
On this day, I tried to distract him with a question, “Who is holding Simon Peter up?”
He answered, “You are, Mommy.”
“Who do you think holds mommy up?”
He answered, “I do.”
Immediately my heart was filled with compassion. This poor little guy, despite his floaties, the fact I am holding him above the water as tightly as I can, and my feet are planted firmly in 4 feet of water, is being crushed by his fear.
Fear has a way of changing the way we see things.
We are all like Simon Peter when it comes to fear, aren’t we? I know I can be overwhelmed, even feel crushed, by all the things I think I can control.
This month Kids Faith Krate is about overcoming fear. Our story comes from Matthew 14:22-33 (give it a read!), where Jesus walks on water to his scared disciples in the middle of a storm. The disciples see Jesus coming, but they don’t even recognize him! The Bible says they were terrified.
Jesus uses this moment to reveal who he is to his disciples. What he shows them about himself transforms the disciple, Simon Peter, to do something truly scary. He asks Jesus if he can come to him out on the water! What changed? He was just terrified of a storm and a ghost, and moments later he is walking on water!
What made Simon Peter go from fear to faith?
I believe he saw Jesus in a new way. When we see Jesus for who he is, it changes everything! Fear can make us unable to recognize Jesus in our lives too, but a revelation of Jesus transforms fear into faith. Who did Jesus reveal himself to be?
1. Jesus revealed himself to be a man and their friend.
Jesus said, “Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.”
It is good news that Jesus is a man. He understands when we are afraid. This story in Matthew is your story and my story. It is good news that Jesus is not a far off, distant god. He is the God who became a human and left the throne room of heaven to cross the dark waters of our sin (Philippians 2:8). When we could never come to God, God came to us. He meets us where we are at in an understanding and present way. Jesus comes to rescue us from certain death because of sin. He is a very present help in time of trouble. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Psalm 46)
2. Jesus revealed himself to be the Creator God who is above all of creation.
The most amazing and radical thing that Jesus revealed himself to be was “Yahweh,” the Creator, the God of the Old Testament, and the Maker of all things. He was walking on top of the water in a storm! He stands outside of creation because he made all things. He has power over all of creation and holds the keys to death. Jesus has the ability to fill us with the faith we need as we fix our eyes on him. (Hebrews 13)
In this life, we will face scary things. Overcoming fear is not being less afraid or controlling the uncontrollable. Overcoming fear is gaining a right perspective of who Jesus is and how near and dear you are to him. Jesus is our closest friend and the Almighty God. He is hope to all who trust and put their faith in him.
Today, if you find yourself afraid, you are not alone. If you have tried to do life on your own, there is good news. Jesus is real. He paid our debt from sin that we could never pay. He crossed over dark waters and through the storm when he carried the cross and our sin on his back. He is nearer to you now that you could ever imagine. As Simon Peter prayed you can also pray today and every day, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 24: 30)'
About the Writer
Kate is a pastor’s wife and mom of three boys. When she’s not chasing three boys, she is one of our writers for Kids Faith Krate! She has her degree in education and has experience as a children’s minister.