Posted by: mikenicholsblog | April 23, 2012

Oh yes, He cares

Last week, my wife and I met our daughter for a vacation that has become a family tradition. We had lots of fun and my greatest frustration was not being able to direct a golf ball to the desired location fast enough. While we were enjoying family time, I was reminded that life is often hard, and sometimes pain comes without warning. Word came to me that two friends from different states were going through immense pain due to the loss of a wife and grandchild. I care so deeply, but feel helpless (you know the feeling). The bigger question is, “does Jesus care?” Since my reading for this week is attached to a literal storm, I thought it appropriate to look at how Jesus responded when the storm arose.

Our context can be found in Mark 4:35-41. As evening was upon them, Christ gave His disciples an adventure in trusting Him. He leads them across the Sea of Galilee. Quite frankly He was leading them right into a storm, and He knew it! Sometimes storms result from our disobedience. But at other times, the Father’s design for all Christ-followers is to purposefully send us headlong into troubled waters … but never without an Anchor.

Scripture tells us that this was a furious squall.  It was so intense that waves broke over the boat. And the disciples had some serious concerns about drowning. Can you believe that Jesus was sleeping while all that was going on? You and I may not mouth words like those of the disciples, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  But we have all had similar thoughts. They had waves and we have our storms, sometimes devastating ones. It is easy to speak glowingly about having faith, but there are times when the drowning feeling of our circumstances becomes almost unbearable. And at those moments, we just want to know that He cares.

With the words, Quiet! Be still! Christ calmed the wind. The Creator of the Universe was in control of nature. And the Creator of the Universe is not absent when pain and difficulty floods into our lives, often without warning. Often we have questions and wonder “Why?”, especially when the pain is deep. But our Father knows how to pour grace over the pain and give us peace, even when having peace makes no sense. The One who hung the world in space, and His Son on a cross cares deeply about our storms and will not abandon us.

Christ gave a gentle rebuke to the disciples after calming the storm. Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? His rebuke gives us a strong indication that they were not responding with faith to His teaching and miracles. You and I can probably relate to the disciples. They should have had more faith in the moment, and so should we. For all Christ-followers, our eternity is secure and today is wrapped in His care. He may lead us headlong into a storm, but He knows how to calm our sea and give peace to our hearts. By faith we can trust Him for every moment and every circumstance.

I have no idea of the storms you may be facing. Viewing my friend’s pain from a distance caused me to reflect on the literal storm from my reading. When life causes us to feel like we are going to drown, the question “does Jesus care? is no longer hypothetical. And the answer is “absolutely He cares!” and will give grace for the moment and peace for the journey. His grace and peace come from above to His children in need. While writing this article, my mind went back to an old hymn written in 1901 by Frank Graeff, Does Jesus Care. Accept the words of the refrain as your hope in any storm.

Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

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