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Does God Care?

Mark 4:35-41 by Fr. Jason

One evening, Jesus left the crowds with his disciples and sailed in a boat across the sea. He’d spent the entire day teaching, and the exhaustion caused him to quickly fall asleep as they set out on the water. As he slept, a violent storm struck them sending waves breaking over the sides of the boat and threatening to capsize it. Jesus was so fatigued, not even this woke him. His disciples, fearing they might die, shake Jesus awake and say to him: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38).

Throughout the ages people have asked Jesus a question just like that. When the waves of life crash in all around us, and God seems to be doing nothing to keep us dry or save us from the impending moment when our life capsizes, how can we not wonder: “Does He care?” Christianity is a religion of relationship. Jesus is not some distant figure or just a great force in the universe. He became a man and walked among us. He made relationships. At the heart of the entire bible is: “Love God and love your neighbor.” Love is about relationship, and if God loves us so much, why is he sometimes silent when our life is falling apart? In that horrible moment when the disciples believed it was over and they saw Jesus just sleeping, they cannot help but ask: “Don’t you care?”

And while we might be tempted to flinch at such a question, we must never forget that we are in relationship with God, and he is big enough to handle our questions. Jesus did not rebuke them for interrupting his sleep. He is ok with his friends waking him up because they are afraid. What Jesus does is point them to the real issue: faith. While he is silent in this moment, that is not an indication that he does not care. Rather, it is an indication that he knows they will be alright. Yes, they got soaked to the bone and had panic-driven, heart stopping moments of utter fear, but they would make it to the other side. They needed to trust Jesus even as Jesus trusted his father.

We should not hide our fears and doubts from God, and when we bring our fears and doubts to God, we should not expect a reprimand. We are in relationship with him. We need to come honestly and humbly to our father. Jesus also wants us to come in faith. He is with us. He loves us. He is working in our lives no matter how scary the storm might look. And he might say to us, as he did to them: have faith.

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