Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)
(Click here to read the full passage):
38 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?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
It was 6 a.m. when the phone rang at my friend and producer Fraser Campbell’s house. It wasn’t good news: their basement suite was flooding and their tenants’ belongings were getting ruined! The next couple of days were spent frantically problem-solving and asking God for wisdom. Eventually, Fraser was exhausted and needed some time alone with the Lord. He sat down at the piano and the song “Waters May Rise” was born.
As the chaos ensued, we were also in the throes of recording my album Face the Waves. He presented the song idea to me, and we immediately agreed that it was the perfect addition to our latest collection of songs.
Fraser wasn’t alone in dealing with rising waters. Jesus’ disciples sailed through massive waves that made them think they lived their last day.
After a long day of ministering to large crowds, they finally had a chance to have some peace as they crossed to the other side of the lake in their boat… But it was only a matter of time before that moment of rest was disrupted by a huge storm. To make matters worse, their rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, was asleep and not helping them! They woke him up and asked, “Don’t you care?!”
How many times have I asked God that question amid a storm? Sometimes He calms the waves as he did in the boat that night with the disciples. Other times He gives me the grace to go through it like the Apostle Paul who referred to an issue that God wouldn’t remove (2 Corinthians 12:6-10), or Jesus who asked if He could opt out of dying on a cross (Matthew 26:37-39).
When God opts for grace to face the problem rather than resolution, I catch myself asking, “Don’t you care?!”
In those moments I need to remind myself about the character of God. I don’t understand why He calms some storms and allows others, but I know that His heart doesn’t change. Here’s what we can be confident in:
God cares deeply for you and me. (1 John 3:1)
He weeps when the ones He loves are hurting. (John 11:33-36)
God doesn’t change even when our circumstances do. (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17)
He will give us grace to walk through difficult seasons when we feel weak. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so we can trust Him. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
One day we will see clearly. Like looking at the back of a rug, the design of our lives will make more sense on the other side of eternity. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
I am not perfect at fully trusting God when waters rise. I have a feeling this will be a lifelong journey as I face more challenges in the future. But I am thankful for God’s patience as I grow in this area. I am thankful that even as the waters rise around us, we can learn more and more to fully put our trust and hope in Jesus.
REFLECTION: What characteristic of God do you hold on to when waters rise?