Winds buffeted the boat, and waves crashed against the hull. Although the storm hindered the boat’s progress across the lake, the capable sailors steadily gained ground. In the midst of the tempest, a figure approaching the boat roused a cry of fear: “It’s a ghost!”
Jesus responded straightforwardly, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
As Christians who are engaged in the creation vs. evolution controversy, we often experience emotional and spiritual struggles similar to those the disciples felt in the storm-tossed boat. Though the wind and waves seem powerful, God has provided assurance and resources to help us endure and gain ground. But when something happens to elicit a strong, fearful response, do we withdraw and hope for the storm to pass? Do we fire all weapons in a fight for survival?
Jesus taught a different response. As He approached the boat, Jesus encouraged the disciples by affirming His presence, and then He called Peter to join Him in the midst of the storm. I personally learned from Christ’s response a few years ago.
As I studied different science discoveries and listened to the latest scientific proclamations, I felt a growing uneasiness. Upon further reflection, God revealed my fear that these discoveries might be the ones that disproved Christianity. Yet this realization led me to understand a profound truth. If God authored creation, and if God inspired Scripture (I firmly believe both), then the scientific discovery that disproves the Bible or Christianity will never happen.
Consequently, I am not afraid to learn about opposing ideas, whether political, spiritual, scientific, or any other kind. Confronting ideas opposed to my position provides the opportunity for me to gain knowledge and learn about other people. And as my knowledge grows, I am more willing to engage the “opponent” in a fashion that brings honor to God and draws people to Him.
Such discussions may bring discomfort and challenge my beliefs. However, just as the disciples found Jesus in the midst of the storm, God’s truth awaits discovery in these battles of ideas. God calls me to respect all people, find His truth, and point others to that truth.
In this season of Thanksgiving when we celebrate God’s gifts, including Christ coming to Earth, let’s all pay close attention to how well our interactions with people outside the kingdom bring honor to God and point them to His truth.