That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
- Mark 4:35-41
“Storms on the Sea of Galilee could happen quickly and without notice. When western winds came off Mount Hermon and collided with the warm lake water, sudden and violent storms could erupt. That’s what happened in today’s account. Many of those disciples were fishermen, they knew that inland sea, they knew what their boat could handle, and they began to panic. They aroused a sleeping Jesus with cries of, ‘Don’t you care?’
“Everyone has had storms that erupt without warning: A child falls into the drug culture, a spouse seeks a divorce, a cancer diagnosis is delivered, a warrior-son returns with post-traumatic stress. It might be simpler: work is not going well, a mechanic failed to properly repair your car, your fixed income is adjusted downward. Are you being overwhelmed? Are you nearing panic? Are you asking, ‘Jesus, don’t you care?’
“Perhaps you need to be reminded—as He reminded the disciples—that God is not asleep, and He does care. The winds and sea obeyed the Lord when He quieted them, because the Creator was in control. The same Jesus who could still the storm with a word, can still your soul in the midst of your storm. You only need to relinquish your fear to Him. He is loving, faithful, fully able, and He cares!
Hymn writer Catharina von Schlegal wrote, “Be still, my soul, your God will undertake to guide the future as He has the past.” As she wrote, “Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
In mid-May, I wrote about “Is God Careless?” An author had used that attribute, and I went with it to illustrate that, in the world’s eyes, God carelessly left Jesus on the cross, and He has a very careless way of letting us get into trouble, although we usually contribute in getting into our troubles. I hope people knew that I was being sarcastic in my opening remarks before getting down to the important point that God is not careless. There is purpose in what He does. It seemed many did not think I made my conclusion quick enough or should have never parroted the author’s sarcasm, but I thank you for your comments anyway.
But does He care for us? Our grand plans are crumbling around us and one little stroke of a Godly pen will fix our problem, but God has a better plan. His plan may not be better in the world’s view, but better in the Godly kingdom.
I am revising my testimony for the umpteenth plus one time for something coming up in a few months. I am starting this iteration by talking about when I was finishing first grade. Why ten years before accepting Jesus as my Savior? Because, that was the year our family was the outstanding family of the county. So? It was a small county – big deal! (sarcasm.) Because, a year later, my sister, in college, had to get a job as a telephone operator to pay for college. We had just lost our farm, our business, our home, and our reputation, since most families in the county had someone who lost their job when the farm went under. My parents claimed that most people understood, but most people forgave quickly – understanding was another thing.
That set my life on a totally different trajectory. I would probably not be writing this blog if I was working morning until night raising turkeys and managing a poultry processing plant. Beyond morning to night if there was a bad storm blowing through. It is fact, not a myth, that turkeys get scared, huddle together, and a drop of water down their upturned heads can drown them. Even as a little kid, I can remember going for a mid-night run through huddles of turkeys while the wind blew, and the rain pelted us.
But God cares, even in the rainstorm. I can look back and see how God has provided, even sometimes when it seemed that He was ‘not caring.’ I was laid off after my 62nd birthday, too early for a full retirement, but I received an unprecedented severance. (two years prior, they’d never done that before.) That severance made my normal pay, that Social Security is based upon, a lot higher than it would have been if I had just retired. It made up for retiring early. We are still broke, but we rely on God for that. That, in itself, is another blessing.
Yes, God cares about me, and He cares for me, and He takes care of me. If you have Jesus in your heart, He does the same for you.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.