Sometimes, even though we are in a dangerous situation, there may be something else that causes us to fear even more.
In today’s Gospel (Mark 6:45-52), the disciples are trying to cross the lake at night, in the midst of a storm. When the disciples saw Jesus coming toward them, walking on the water, they were terrified.
The presence of God can cause us fear (but not the fear of the Lord which is more like awe.) We fear that he is doing something different and might be asking us to do something different in our lives.
The unknown and unexpected can awaken hidden fears in us – perhaps most of all, for me, at least, the fear of losing control.
Even though the waters may be stirring up around me, fear can come upon me when something new happens, that causes me to love control.
We might think that seeing Jesus walking on the waters would have calmed the disciples, but no.
And so Jesus tells them: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
The Lord is present. The God of Love is here with us.
And that should lead us to respond in love, not fear – even if it means changing our lives.
As John wrote in his first letter(4: 16, 18):
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.… There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.