(By Michelle Snippe)
And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).
This question, asked by the Lord Jesus’ disciples, while in a boat caught within a raging storm at sea, seems legitimate, don’t you think? After all, the winds were tempestuous. The waves were crashing into the boat and filling it rapidly. Realistically, sinking seemed imminent. I likely would have had a question or two, as well!
Life’s perplexing circumstances and intense storms can provoke a lot of questions beset with hidden accusation and can trigger us to demand some answers. But, when I read the four words in the middle of the disciples’ inquiry, “Do You not care?” I wondered, “Is that what they really thought when they posed it?”
Did they think Jesus did not care about them? Did they wake Him because they truly thought He was unaware of what was going on around them? Did they honestly think they were going to die?
In that moment, stricken with, at the very least, the emotion of fear, yes, I think they did think all of those thoughts. Do you know why? Because sometimes, in the middle of a storm, I lapse into that thinking, too.
Often we feel disappointment with God because, in the dark wilderness of sorrow and trial, He seems obscure. We want to see Him bailing the water from the boat, grabbing an oar to steer out of the storm, or anything else that would make us feel like He cares.
Perhaps you’re in the middle of a violent storm right now, and out of pain or fear, you’re asking the same questions the disciples perhaps did. Is God aware? Does He care? Am I going to make it through?
Thankfully, in the boat with them, the disciples had the One who could calm the storm. He had been there all along. And with His three simple words, “Peace. Be still,” there came a great calm. What power and control were exhibited by just His spoken word! How beautiful that Jesus didn’t first rebuke His disciples; He rebuked the storm and spoke peace. And the peace He granted was not just for the storm, it was intended for their hearts, as well.
There isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t felt loss, who hasn’t felt fear, who hasn’t felt pain in the middle of a life storm. But the sure hope we have is that, even while surrounded by vicious winds and overwhelming waves, you and I have the same One with us – in us – who calmed the disciples’ storm. And He wants to calm our storms as well. Oh, He may not choose to quieten the physical storm for us, but He has given us Himself and His Word that will speak truth, peace, and calm into our hearts. He whispers these words to us:
"I see your affliction" (Exodus 3:7).
"I hear your weeping" (Psalm 6:8).
"I will not leave you or forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
"I am your refuge and stronghold in your trouble" (Psalm 9:9).
"I will keep you in perfect peace" (Isaiah 26:3).
"I care for you" (I Peter 5:7).
What precious promises these are — promises we can cling to when the winds are intense and the waves are high. These promises are not only given to us for our future, but they are also given to us for the here and now while we wait for the promises to come. The God who loves you and cares for you is in your boat. Let Him speak His peace to your heart today.
Photo Credit: Alicia Laliberte