Embarking on a new journey in life is usually stressful. Even getting older is stressful. Sometimes life can even seem like a scary journey. Being “in control” is something we hold near and dear to us, isn’t it? We often fear the unknown…..but we can’t escape it. Should we simply live with anxiety and fear every day? Are medications the answer to this type of anxiety……the fear of not knowing the future?
Mark 10:32-34 (TNIV)
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
This is the third time that Jesus tells the disciples what is going to happen to him in the future. Twice before, Jesus revealed that He would soon die. But this time He revealed even more………. The disciples knew that Jesus was the Messiah, yet they still saw Him as the conquering Messiah that had come to conquer Rome and be king of Israel. Truth is, and Jesus is telling them this– but they still miss it, Jesus IS the conquering Messiah….he came to conquer sin and to give us new life through His resurrection.
Let me point out two things: One……Jesus is revealing to His disciples God’s plan……and it’s not their plan. Two……knowing the rest of the story, Jesus is content to live in God’s will, not His own (as a human on this earth).
Before I was a pastor, I remember the day that Pastor Phil asked me to stop by his office after work. I walked in and sat down. He took a sip of his coffee, lifted his gaze and asked me when would be a good time for me to be ordained, when could I start work as a pastor here at LifePoint Christian Church. I also remember, welling up inside as this was the desire of my heart and an affirmation of my calling, yet the fear that I felt because I didn’t know the future and how this would turn out was tremendous. A million questions went through my head. Yes, I had worked hard, studied hard in God’s classroom and prayed for this day….yet it would take me out of the fairly comfortable routine I was used to and well……..there were a lot of unknowns, the least of which was big financial adjustment. This was a very POSITIVE thing in my life….yet it still caused an anxiety I won’t forget.
Indeed, there have been many times in my life when I have faced an uncertain future and it has caused anxiety because……I AM NO LONGER IN CONTROL (I am sure that you can think of many times in your life also). There are many BIG times…..like getting married, raising children, choosing schools, and job changes…..as well as many smaller times such as, “What decision should I make?”, “What should I do in this situation?”, or “What is the RIGHT thing to do?”. Yes friends……….it’s true….sometimes life can seem like a scary journey, can’t it?
Here is the point: Even the disciples that traveled with and learned from Jesus felt fear in the unknown. They were also frightened and astonished at what lay ahead of them. We are not alone in feeling this way; in fact…….we can join the crowd! But, what sets us apart? What can we do to calm our fears? Is medication the answer for this type of anxiety? I believe not.
It is so important that as we develop this relationship with Jesus, that we recognize that He is leading our journey and that we should put our complete trust in Him. Jesus knows your heart! Jesus knows the way home! We WANT Jesus to lead our journey!
When you are faced with an uncertain future or decision, first and foremost, tell God, indeed, tell Jesus about it in prayer. Secondly, seek out HIS answer and intentionally ask Him over and over, “what should I do?” What he will reveal to you will never involve wrong but will always involve right.
If you feel frightened by what is ahead, you are not alone……..don’t be alone. Follow Jesus. Cling close to Him and continually ask Him for strength, encouragement and direction. Follow close to Jesus and your faith will be strengthened!