Teacher, don't you care if we drown? Mark 4:38 (NIV)
That is what the disciples said to Jesus in the middle of a storm on the lake of Galilee. And plenty of us have the same sort of thing in the middle of one of life's storms. `God, do you know, or don't you know, what is going on?' The storm, the problem, the pain, may be in our personal lives, in the lives of those near to us, in the lives and crises of patients, in the lives of people far away caught in famine or war or disaster. `God', we say, `do you know, or don't you know, what is going on?'
When the squall hit the disciples' boat crossing the lake, Jesus was asleep. The disciples panicked and woke him. `Teacher, don't you care?' they said. Of course he cared. He dealt with the problem and then -- sadly and quietly, no doubt -- said, `Where is your faith?'.
It was not just a minor problem. Among the men were fishermen who knew the lake and its moods. Luke's account tells us they were in great danger. So it can be with the things that trouble us. They may be very real problems that threaten to destroy lives, to wreck personalities or to tear families apart. They can completely throw us. that great 17th century minister and saint, Samuel Rutherford, when he lost his wife and two little daughters, wrote: `It is, I know, hard to keep sight of God in a storm'. But his faith stood the test, and he was the stronger and the more effective in his ministry because of the experience.
What we so easily forget is that, in the Galilee storm, Jesus was in the boat. Yes, he was sleeping. But he was there, in the same situation, sharing the danger. The sleeping bit was irrelevant. He was neither unaware nor indifferent nor uncaring. He was there.
So it is today. He is there. We must never forget it; the sleeping bit is irrelevant. Long ago, the Psalmist knew: `... he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep' (Ps 121:3-4).
Our God is a sharing God. He does know what is going on. He does care. He is there in the middle of our storms.
Gracious Lord, you know the storms and problems of our
lives. You have shared our human life and know it. Help us
to know and to trust that you still share with us in
everything. And that you are always there.
Further reading: Mk 4:35-41. Lk 8:22-25. Heb 2:10-15, 4:15-16.
This devotional is also available in Italian on the website of CMF's sister organisation AMICO