by John Doyle
Isaiah 41: 10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
On Jesus’ instructions, the Disciples had sent the crowd away and had set out to go over to the other side of the lake into the country of the Gadarenes – Mark 5:1.
At some point in the journey, Jesus, being tired after ministering, fell asleep, placed His head on a pillow, in the back of the boat. Everything seemed fine as they left, but then the story tells us that after a while “there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the boat so that it was now full” Mark 4:37.
The word translated Storm could also have been translated “squall” which is defined as “a sudden violent wind often with rain or snow.” Despite some of the Disciples being seasoned fishermen, they were overwhelmed by what had overtaken them. So much so that “they awake him (Jesus), and say unto him, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” v38.
The Disciples’ words reflect the feelings of some of us at times of distress especially in these days of Lockdown, when many are overtaken by the storms of life. Times when it seems that the phrase “God doesn’t give us more than we can bear” seems hard to understand when dealing with all that we have to endure in these days.
“Master, carest thou not that we perish?” rings true from the depths of the souls of many that have faced these challenges of Lockdown and the Pandemic, and for those who have lost loved ones and special friends.
So, Does Jesus Care? Hymn writer Frank Graeff put words together in 1901 that reflected his thoughts on this very matter that so many are facing today. Using the same question for his title, he asked a series of questions that some of us can identify with. The first verse:
“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained, Too deeply for mirth or song, As the burdens press, and the cares distress, And the way grows weary and long?” Many have travelled these paths in this period of COVID – 19.
It is important to note that Jesus did not sleep through the Disciples’ despair, but “He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” v.39. Did Jesus Care? Of course He did! Those of us who profess Jesus as Lord should be encouraged that He responds to the cries of the sincere, and not only does He respond, but He has all power and authority to rebuke every adverse wind in our lives and speak peace into our troubled hearts and minds. The circumstances that provoked fear in the Disciples were immediately stilled by the words from the Lord Jesus.
Though they woke Jesus in a moment of despair, the disciples recognised that He was the only one that could do something about the situation. Once He had calmed the storm, He looked at them and asked, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” v.40. In other words: “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith and confidence in Me?”
Our part is to do as Peter reminds us, “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you” – 1 Peter 5:7 and have confidence in Him that He can take care of these things in His time and in His way.
Many that we have spoken to feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges, how do you respond? What would He say to you and me?
Our response should be whenever we find ourselves asking if God really cares, we can sing triumphantly together:
“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 Saviour cares.”
We know for sure that He really does care for His Children.
In the Love of the Lord Jesus,
John and Barbara
If you would like the link to the song *Does Jesus Care* from our CD it is below on the YouTube link. will be blessed for you to join me in the song.