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Don’t You Care God?

Don’t You Care God?

Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? Mark 4:38

Often, in stupid, little frustrations, I find myself turning on God. When I’m late, can’t find my keys, the traffic is bad, and I’m low on gas, I find myself muttering, Come on God! I’m going to speak at the treatment center for you. Couldn’t you help me out here a little? Don’t you care? In my mind, I’m living by faith, doing God’s will, but in reality, my focus is still on me and my preferences. Because my gaze is fixed on me, I become easily irritated. While obsessed with myself, I imagine faith to mean that God should iron out all the wrinkles of my life.

This is a natural tendency which the disciples seemed to share as well. In today’s passage, they were traveling by boat when a storm came up, threatening to swamp them. Jesus, unfazed, was sleeping through it, which perturbed the disciples. Turning on Christ, they awoke him, Do you not care that we are perishing? Their fear was natural, as was their concern for their own safety. Jesus’ response though reveals that the natural response is not always helpful or right. Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith (Mark 4:40)?

It wasn’t wrong that the disciples turned to Jesus for help. That was the one right thing they did. Their mistake was in surrendering to their natural fear and focus on self. The lesson isn’t that Jesus would save them from every hardship. Trials in this life are a certainty.

The lesson rather, for the disciples and for us, is that as followers of Christ, we must choose the attitude that no matter what the world throws at us, we will keep our eyes on him. From my petty little inconveniences to the threat of death, we should not allow the world to turn our gaze from Christ. We should choose the attitude that even if the world kills us, we’re still better off in following God. Even if this destroys me, I’m still in God’s hands.

It may be natural for us to expect God to fix all our trials, but that doesn’t make it right or helpful. It is often only in trials that we learn real faith. Faith means keeping our eyes not our own interests, but on God, realizing that no matter what happens, he is in control.

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