“Don’t you care”…wow, that’s a scathing remark. To “not care” means you are careless, unconcerned, indifferent. To accuse someone of not caring is a very strong condemnation. Yet in the gospel of Mark, the disciples are accusing Jesus of not caring.
“But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, Teacher, do you not care if we perish? And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” (Mark 4: 38-41)
“Do you not care that we are perishing?” Well, the disciples must have been desperate to cry out this way…. they must have been legitimately perishing…the boat was sinking and they were likely to die. This was obviously not the way they usually spoke to Jesus. They were desperate.
We see that Jesus ended up admonishing them for their fear and lack of faith. He didn’t admonish them for being rude and disrespectful, or discourteous. Yet, he expected more of them in the midst of this trial and test.
To be honest, I would have flunked this test also. In truth, I flunk this same type of test too frequently. A storm comes along, and I can pretty quickly get fearful and doubtful….. “wow is Jesus asleep…doesn’t he care that we are perishing”. This is not good. Perhaps I fight the fear and doubt for awhile, but then I can tend to reach my limit and cry out. “Jesus wake up, wake up, the church is perishing…your creation is perishing… the devil is winning… things are going down…. Lord, wake up.”
When there’s no storm, when the seas are calm, I’m Mr. Faith…Mr. Courage… yes, yes, trust in the Lord…no reason to fear.” But the Lord then puts us to the test to see what’s inside our heart…”is there fear or courage…is there doubt or faith…are we secure or perishing….”
So, let’s take a deep breath. Let’s remind ourselves that the Lord has a very good track record…in fact a perfect track record. The ship has never sank… the church will prevail. You’ve heard of Nero, of Hitler and Stalin, of secular humanism, of the pandemic, etc., etc., etc. ….. well, the church is still standing and the gates of hell have not prevailed against it, and will never prevail against it.
It’s okay to cry out to the Lord in our times of need.. it’s even okay to remind him that we are perishing (or think we are), it’s even okay to ask if he still cares for us. He knows our frame is weak. It’s okay to wake him up, even though he’s never really asleep. Even the great apostles had their moments of doubt and fear and Christ never rejected them. So, let’s not be afraid to cry out to the Lord in our distress; let’s not be afraid to wake the Lord up and wait for him to calm the seas. He will , because he loves us very much…. and remember that Jesus does care for you and me. And that is very good news.