Jesus, Don’t You Care That I Am Going to Die?
In Mark 4 we find the story of Jesus crossing the sea with His disciples. During their trip a violent storm arises and the disciples, four of whom were experienced fisherman, were greatly afraid. However, Jesus was asleep in the boat. How Jesus sleeps through a very violent storm is still a mystery to me, but He was asleep in the midst of the storm. I can imagine the disciples are bailing water out of the boat, trying to just hang on for dear life. I wonder if they made comments about Jesus sleeping through all the mayhem. Finally, they wake Jesus up and ask Him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are going to die?” In my mind, they are saying, “Hey, how can you sleep through this storm while we are doing all that we can to stay alive. Get up and help us!”.
Jesus gets up, rebukes the storm and all is peaceful again, except the disciples. They went from being terrified from the storm to being terrified of Jesus and what He had just done. It’s amazing how fast our emotions can change.
I want to look at the question that they asked Jesus. I think that it is a question that many of us ask God often. “Lord, don’t you care that (insert your dilemma).” I know that I have asked this question too many times. I have gone through some storms in life; feeling like Jesus is asleep and not aware of what is happening in my life. I cry out, “Lord, don’t you care that I am about to go under? Don’t you care that my bills are late? Don’t you care that my marriage is struggling? Don’t you care that my kids are not doing what they are supposed to be doing? Don’t you care that I feel alone?” I could go on and on and on with situations that we tend to feel that God doesn’t care about. It’s hard when God doesn’t seem to respond to our calls when all of life is seemingly crashing in around us.
Jesus didn’t seem to be bothered that they were going to die because they weren’t going to die. The disciples didn’t seem to know that. Some of them were experienced fisherman and knew how bad the storm was. Jesus was able to sleep because He wasn’t afraid He was going to die. He knew that He was destined to go to the other side of the lake. The disciples should have had that same faith but they didn’t. We should always know that God is on our side and will work for our good and His purposes in our lives. Yet, we often look more at the storms and circumstances rather than the God who has spoken over us. I don’t want to get so spiritual here and just give a worn-out cliché like “just trust and obey.” Sometimes for me it’s been hard to trust and obey. It’s not that God has proven to be untrustworthy. It’s just that sometimes I forget how trustworthy He is. I also think that I am like the disciples in that I am going to do all that I can to “bail the water out of my life on my own.” I tend to want to be strong for Jesus; to show God how strong I am. I am like the little child who always wants his daddy to watch what he can do. Even though the daddy isn’t impressed but the child thinks that he is really doing some great feat of strength. Sometimes I am like that. “Watch me fix this problem God. Watch how I can draw a crowd. Watch how I can make things happen for You.” God isn’t impressed. And I can get easily distracted by the storm.
So what are we to do? I believe that the answer lies in the question that Jesus asked the disciples. “Why are you so fearful? Do you still not have faith?” I believe that from this scripture we can see that fear is the opposite of faith. They didn’t have any faith so they were fearful. Whenever we lose sight of God, we become fearful. When our faith is in God and His purposes fear will not control us. Our answer lies in our learning to rest in the purpose of God. Jesus wasn’t afraid because He knew who He was and He knew where He was going. When we know who we are (beloved children of God) and where we are going (where the Lord has directed us) then fear will not reign in our lives.
What is it that you are fearful of right now? What are asking Jesus about, “Lord, don’t you care that…….?”
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