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Mark 4:38 “But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’”

There is a storm on the lake and the disciples are worried. But Jesus is asleep. The storms there can be severe, so humanly speaking, there was cause for concern. Yet, Jesus slept, seemingly unconcerned. 

The disciples accuse Jesus of being unconcerned about them. “Do you not care that we are perishing?”  It is an aggressive question, really a complaint: “You do not care that we are perishing!”

See how they respond to this apparent danger, they are fearful and their fears, their own unbelief, leads them to an angry accusation against God-in-the-flesh: “You don’t even care that we are about to die here.”

Think about this. Jesus was asleep not because he did not care for the disciples, in fact he loved them deeply. Rather, he slept confident that everything was well under control. He did not mind a storm that he would calm with a word in just a moment. “‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39).

God had them—and the storm—well in hand, his loving, sovereign hand. But they impugn Christ’s motives and complain against him. They say in effect, “That you sleep while we are in this storm proves that you do not love us, that you would let us perish, without lifting a finger to help us.”

But really, Jesus does care. He loves them and plans to rescue them. Just not on their schedule or before the danger is more . . . dangerous. 

How often do we doubt God's love and goodness when we face storms in our lives? We are like the disciples: “If you really loved us, you would not be sitting there, watching us in this storm. You would have stopped it from ever happening, never allowed us to feel this danger."

And Jesus might say something like: “But your life was never in danger. You feared it was because you do not trust me, but I have this, I have you, I have the storm. Your fear is wasted and useless. Peace, be still, too."

Are we not tempted to think: Why do you sleep Jesus while the storm of this disease destroys my health? While the storm of this relationship threatens to wreck my life? While this financial storm threatens to ruin me? While my work is falling into pieces around me? While enemies attack me without cause? Do you not care that I am perishing, that I might be swamped? Why are you sleeping during my storm? You don’t love me, do you?

And his answer is the same, something like this: “Your problem is not the storm but your fear and lack of faith. I am not asleep and missing the storm. I brought it and will silence it when it is best for my glory, my work, and your good. I have you and the storm well in hand. Peace, be still.”

Right when we are complaining that Jesus should have already stopped our storm, we should instead be confessing our own fear and unbelief. It was not his gently closed eyes that missed the truth of our stormy situation, it was our blind unbelief.

Lord, forgive my lack of trust in your love, your goodness, and your power. You neither slumber nor sleep but tend constantly to your people, to me. Let me trust and rest in you. “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (121:3-4).