In Mark 4:38 Jesus’ disciples asked Him a stunning question: “Don’t you care?” The actual question is longer than that, but that’s the gist of it. “Don’t you care?” is a question a lot of people still ask the Lord today. Even if you have never verbalized it, I’m sure there have been times when you thought it.
This question was asked in the evening following a day of teaching. In the midst of a trip crossing the lake a severe storm hit raising concern with the disciples that the boat might sink. But Jesus was asleep because He was tired. If you ever wonder if Jesus can identify with your fatigue the answer is yes.
Mark tells us they woke Jesus and asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” There is a subtle tone of irritation and reproach in what they ask. Jesus’ response to their question was twofold. He calmed the storm and then asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Jesus wasn’t miffed that His disciples woke Him, He was disappointed they didn’t have more faith.
This exchange between Jesus and His disciples challenges us to think about our faith. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of faith in the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 declares, “It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (NLT). Not only are we saved by faith, we are also to live by faith.
I don’t think it is a stretch to suggest that storms are a part of life. Pastor Rick Warren notes storms “are inevitable, they are unpredictable, and they are impartial.” Being a follower of Jesus does not guarantee cloudless skies or smooth sailing in life. We are going to face storms.
Just like the disciples we sometimes wonder if Jesus really cares. We feel Jesus has let us down. God does not always perform miracles to rescue us from life’s storms. And there are false teachers who wrongly suggest that if we had more faith we would be saved from the storms; we would be healed, our marriage would not fail, our financial woes would be resolved, or our child would not suffer. But that is cruel and not what the Bible teaches. Real faith trusts God in the storm no matter what the outcome.
How much faith is enough? I’m not sure. Probably like you, I’m still trying to cultivate and increase my faith. One thing we might note, there is no record of Jesus ever telling anyone they had too much faith! I suspect you and I both could use a little more. The point is that Jesus can be trusted; especially in the storms of life.
I read that one day Mark Twain and a friend walked outside in the rain. The friend asked him, “Do you think it will stop?” Twain responded, “It always does.” That’s true with any storm. You’ve got to go through it, but it’s not going to last forever. Eventually, or ultimately, it will end.
Feel free to share this article with others and I welcome comments below.
(Adapted from Chapter 4 “Don’t You Care?” in my forthcoming book Questioning Jesus: Considering His Responses.)
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7557790@N03/7611121832″>ETWAS HOEHERES by Wolfgang Wildner</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>