‘Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?’
That’s the great line from a powerful story and message in Mark 4:35-41. Our scene finds the disciples in the middle of crossing the Sea of Galilee at Jesus’ request. They’re following His wishes “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.” (vs. 37). Where was Jesus when they needed Him so desperately? He was asleep in the stern of the boat. But, note, He was with them. He was not only the Son of God but fully man and He wasn’t disturbed or shook. But the disciples were. They woke Him with key words in our study, “… don’t you care if we drown.” Ever had a time like that in your life. Recently? I did this week. As I ponder the story, I remember that it was Jesus’ idea in the first place. Sometimes, I face some serious problems when I’m trying to follow His wishes – His plan. I hear His voice, “Why are you so afraid? Are you still lacking faith?” My head drops in humility and I confess, “Yes, Lord.” I remember Jesus asleep, resting, while trusting our Father. Although miracles are challenging for modern people to accept, the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus is Lord over all creation. Picture Him stepping to the front of the boat and speaking to that evil wind, that unholy gust that was trying to get in the way of His disciples, and blocking their faith. He says, Quiet, Be still! I imagine Him turning to me in my distress and saying, “Billy, be still (chill out).”
I don’t know your places of fear and striving. Perhaps it’s a broken relationship, job loss, or chronic sickness. Perhaps, like the disciples on the boat, it feels like Jesus doesn’t care that we’re going to perish in the stormy water. Even if I know that God promises to never leave us or forsake us. Yet, I tend to react out of fear, expending energy worrying. What about you? Yet, I do know that God promises never to leave us nor forsake us. Jesus, our Sustainer, is there in our boat. Perhaps the opportunity for safety and peace is right behind us. He does “have our back!”
The disciples, who have known the Son of God, for four chapters of Mark’s gospel have another lesson to learn by way of a powerful visual aid. Listen to their words, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?” I laugh to myself and wonder, “How well did they remember that teaching moment? I smile and thank God for the disciples. Sometimes, I think of myself as a “duh-sciple.” I should know better. Those wonderfully human 12 give me further assurance that there’s room for me in the Kingdom of Heaven. I rest in peace hearing God’s word delivered by Isaiah, “In turning toward me, and resting in me you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isa 30:15)
Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.