“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

“Do You Not Care That We Are Perishing?”

(Please read Mark 4:35-41)

January 8

Some translations of our text call it a “squall,” and others say “storm” or “gale,” but all use modifying words like “fierce” and “terrible” in describing the situation on the Sea of Galilee that day. The terminology doesn’t really matter, because if the veteran fishermen in that boat were terrified, the boat and its passengers indeed seemed in danger of being swamped by the raging waves.

But Jesus continued to sleep calmly in the stern. Apparently he was exhausted after a busy day, and he slept well, trusting in his Father to get him safely across the lake.

It isn’t clear what the disciples expected Jesus to do about their endangered situation. Perhaps they didn’t know what to expect, but they somehow trusted that he could handle things. Imagine the confused babble as different men shouted: “We are perishing!” “Save us, Lord!” And someone even asked the question in our title, “Don’t you care if we drown?” (NIV).

Yes, Jesus did care, and he becalmed the sea very quickly, causing his disciples to marvel at his power. This miracle is also a sort of parable for the way we feel sometimes and the help that is available at our call. It is still true that Jesus cares. When we are buffeted by the storms of life, whether by temptation, suffering or persecution, we may tend to think Jesus is sleeping, but that is a sign that our faith has waned. If only we cry out to him in such times, he can calm the turmoil in our hearts as surely as he stilled the waves of Galilee.

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