Deep water, tall waves, and a fierce wind made for an interesting night on the boat. The boat swayed from side to side as it was tossed by the waves, but the crew stayed hard at work. It was commonplace to be caught in a storm.
The wind would sweep down from the mountains and cause a severe storm to pop up on an otherwise good night for fishing. Catching fish meant risking being caught in a storm, so fishermen were accustomed to this situation. Much courage was required to hold fishing as your occupation.
Fishermen would go into deep water, survive a treacherous storm, and repeat the process the next night. They courageously viewed storms as a normal part of their lives. They did not lack courage, which is one of the reasons Jesus called fishermen to be his first disciples.
Jesus knew it would take courage to travel the road ahead, so he called courageous people. The same is still true today.
Traveling life’s road requires much courage. With all the twists and turns, no one is sure what tomorrow may bring, and a storm may pop up at any time. But, as Christians, we can take courage in the Lord.
Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength; always ready to help in times of trouble. So, we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge.
A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and the kingdoms crumble. God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts. The Lord of Heaven’s armies is here among us. The God of Israel is our fortress.
Come see the glorious works of the Lord: see how he brings destruction upon the world, he causes wars to end throughout the earth, he breaks the bow and snaps the spear, he burns the shields with fire…. The Lord of Heaven’s armies is here among us. The God of Israel is our fortress.”
We can courageously take the next bend in the road because the Lord is with us. The Psalmist reminds us that our refuge, fortress, and strength travels with us.
Around the bend may be natural disaster, family emergency, economic strain, lost job, or health concerns, but we can take the corner courageously. The Lord is with us, and saying, “Take courage. It is I.”
Some form of the words “do not fear” appears in the Bible 365 times; that is, one time for every day of the year. Each day the Lord encourages us, “Do not be afraid. Take courage.”