“Don’t worry about things you can’t control”
Please. How many times have you heard this? It’s like when our parents told us, “This hurts us more than it hurts you.” Again, please. Don’t get me wrong, we all know we shouldn’t worry about things we can’t control. It’s just completely against our nature not to. The disciples are a prime example. In Mark 4:36-41 a “fierce” storm with “high” waves slams into their boat causing it to fill with water – #notfun. Seemingly unable to make it to shore, Jesus’ disciples reacted to the situation like they had just announced the wrong winner for Best Picture at The Oscars. It’s in this complete and utter panic that we see how truly “deep” their faith is. Answer: not very. So, we don’t read this passage for an example of how not to worry. We read it to find perspective about worry. For me, I took away three questions from it:
- How does God appear through the lens of my worry?
The disciples apparently had a pretty detailed memory of how Jesus appeared to them in that moment. They essentially saw Him as unaware (“Jesus was sleeping”), distant (“at the back of the boat”), and comfortable doing nothing (“with His head on a cushion”). Can’t you appreciate how they included each of these details to drive home a point? Of course, we know He wasn’t any of those things now but that’s how it appeared to them at the time. If we’re not careful, we can default to the same way of thinking. He appears unaware, distant, and comfortable doing nothing in our own situation today. However, it’s important to remember that our perspective of God affects our approach to God.
- So based on my current perspective of God, how am I approaching Him?
The disciples’ approach was the exact opposite of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51. Instead of believing something amazing could still happen, they approached Him defeated by saying, “Don’t you care we’re going to die?” Notice they didn’t say, “we might die.” In their minds, the only logical outcome was the worst case scenario. Do we do the same when we approach God? Do we buy into this mediocre notion created by society to expect the worst and hope for the best (which is a direct contradiction to James 1:6)? The disciples didn’t allow themselves the freedom available to all of us when we choose to believe He can do something impossibly good on our behalf against all odds.
- With that in mind, how well do I really know Him?
It’s amazing to me this awful situation takes place after Jesus has healed many physical issues, cast out demons, and recruited a core team of 12 members from backgrounds that truly hated one another. Yet, His past accomplishments weren’t enough to convince them of His ability in their current situation. Sound familiar? Ever felt like His past successes in your life just aren’t enough grounds to trust Him with what’s going on today? Have we become so confused as to who God is that we can’t even trust Him after something good? Once He calms the storm in verse 39, the disciples don’t say “thank you.” They ask the question, “Who is this man?” It’s amazing how His dedication to us appears clouded in our times of desperation.
Our friend, the listener, is turning to us every day for help to rise above the worry of something they’re facing. The amazing thing is all we have to do is lead them to Jesus, not fix the problem. One of my favorite verses lately is Psalm 27:8 which says, “My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”” The invitation is open to all to bring our worries, and we have the privilege of being able to invite someone to a conversation with Him. We just have to decide if, like David, we’ll say, “LORD, I am coming…and bringing a friend too.”
MD at 106.9 The Light / WMIT & CMB Gold Member