“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
When we read these words in the Gospel it’s easy to think that the apostles are acting ridiculous. “Of course he cares!” We say “Shame to think that he wouldn’t!” But, the irony here is that we, whether we realize it or not, often ask the same thing: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
Now, it may not be literally perishing, but this is the sentence of doubt. “Do you not care?” We ask it so much!
Think of all of the hard days you have. You finish a long day of zoom calls and are exhausted, but have to go and help the neighbor shovel his car out of a snowbank. You argue with your spouse, you are behind on the laundry, and dinner is a blackened pile of ash in the bottom of the oven.
“Do you not care?”
It’s easy to get frustrated and to not believe that he cares. After all, why would such a kind and loving God let unpleasant and even terrible things happen to his followers? “Do you not care?”
Yes, he does, in fact, care. He cares more than you think. More than you comprehend.
You see, the reason he allows such frustrating things to happen is because they are not merely annoying (or even terrible) events, but opportunities.
An opportunity to do a kind and helpful deed.
An opportunity to be patient with your spouse.
An opportunity to laugh at the mistake.
An opportunity to offer the little inconveniences to God.
This is how you store up treasure in heaven. Everything is an opportunity to add to that store.
What matters is how you respond; how you use that opportunity.
So, asking if he does not care is the wrong kind of question. Of course he cares! He cares so much to send you numerous opportunities to grow in faith, hope, and love!
The apostles were given an opportunity to trust. Though they woke up Jesus in terror, he did not scold them. I see him gently asking them “Do you not yet have faith? Why aren’t you using this opportunity?”
Notice that he says “Do you not yet have faith” and not “You have no faith.” He knows that they will have many opportunities in the future to grow in their faith, and they will. We know from history that they did.
So, “Teacher, do you not care?” is the wrong kind of question. The right kind of question is “Teacher, how do you want me to use this opportunity?” And he will tell you. He always does.
May the Lord help us to cast out all doubt and use every opportunity to glorify him.
Perpetua Phelps is a high school student residing in West Michigan and is the second of four children. Apart from homeschooling, Perpetua enjoys volunteering at her church, attending retreats, studying Latin and French, and reading classics such as Beowulf, The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc. She also spends much time writing novels, essays, and poetry for fun and competition. A passionate Tolkien fan, Perpetua is a founding member of a Tolkien podcast.
Feature Image Credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969, https://pixabay.com/photos/overcast-sky-clouds-cumulus-nature-3712351/