That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:35-41
In the midst of our uncertainty we often second guess and doubt God has our best interest at heart. Just like the disciples caught in the storm, we picture an indifferent God. We reason He has little concern for the circumstances we are facing. Worry forces us to drift towards questioning God and wondering if He cares.
Worry produces uncertainty in a mind that has no better alternative. It takes root in faulty thinking. If we allow our minds to focus on the world, we will look around, and fear will take over. Worry will take root, and faith will lose out.
When we are afraid, we accuse God of being indifferent: Can’t you see what is happening? Do you not care?
This is what is happening to the disciples in today’s reading. Looking around, they are afraid. Their circumstances are stealing their peace and their faith.
They start to freak out. Worry takes root, and fear takes over.
Yet, there is a truth that they are about to encounter. Take a moment and reread the passage again slowly. Get a picture of this scene in your minds. Jesus gets up startled from being awaken but even more so by their question. “Do I care? You are wondering if I care?”
He pauses to calm the storm before He addresses them. “Hold on one second; let me get these gale force winds to chill and the raging sea to quiet down so we can talk.”
His question cuts to their heart. “Why are you afraid? Do you have no faith?”
Do you notice the connection between fear and the absence of faith? Jesus reminds us that if He is with us who can be against us. He invites us to trust that our lives are valuable and lie beyond our circumstances.
Worrying chokes out the fruitful work of God in our lives. Our need to control our circumstances prevents us from letting go of our worries and concerns. Worrying highlights one’s perspective by revealing his or her picture of God. When our concerns convert over to worry, we develop a perspective that causes one to function as though God does not exist.
Worry, concern, anxiety, fright, and panic are all different levels of fear, and they all wreak havoc on our walk. The Bible says that God didn’t give us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
The challenge before each one of us is how we will respond to a situation we have no control over and no knowledge of the end result. Worrying sheds light on how we define and deal with uncertainty.
God has promised us that He will be with us. This is the truth we must lean on when everything in us wants to freak out.
- Where is worry choking out the fruitful work of God in your life? In what situations are you holding on to your worry?
Lord, forgive me for accusing You of not caring. I use my circumstances to justify my response and, as a result, worry rushes in. Lord, I will fix my mind on You and trust that Your peace will guard my heart and mind. All of this is for the sake of Your glory and not my own. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.