Does God care about me?
Jake Heppner, Southbrook Baptist Church
1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Have you ever found yourself in a difficult circumstance? Have you ever cried out to God for help, but didn't get the answer you wanted? Have you ever felt like heaven was silent, and asked yourself, "Does God really care about me?" If you have ever doubted whether God hears, or whether He is able to respond, don't be surprised — you're not alone. In fact, almost all of Jesus' close friends found themselves doubting God and Jesus when they found themselves in painful and frightening situations!
In Mark 4:37 and 38 we find the disciples and Jesus in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, and when the boat was still far from shore, a terrifying storm was unleashed against their fishing vessel. The storm was scary enough that the disciples (most of whom had a lot of experience with boats and storms) thought they were going to die! "And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"
The disciples thought for sure that Jesus had carelessly fallen asleep and was oblivious to their predicament — this is how the situation appeared to them. But after Jesus calmed the storm with the words of His mouth, He rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. The lesson the disciples learned was that not only does Jesus care, but He has the power to give the protection they needed.
John 11 gives us another picture of friends of Jesus who allowed doubts to overcome their confidence in God's ability to save. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were three siblings who were very close to Jesus, so when Lazarus became ill, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, obviously hoping that He would come and work a miracle on Lazarus like He had on so many other sick people. But Jesus didn't immediately return; He remained where He was for 2 more days, and by the time He arrived at Mary and Martha's town, Lazarus had already died and been buried. John 11:21 records the first words out of Martha's mouth when she saw Jesus, "Now Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." Mary also had the identical accusation — If only You had been here, my brother would not have died! But Jesus had a design in mind, and He raised Lazarus from the dead with the words of His mouth.
Through this tragedy, Christ revealed Himself to Mary and Martha and their family and friends in a way that was a powerful expression of His true nature and authority over death.
In each situation, we can see even close followers and friends of Jesus making accusations and having their judgment clouded from experiencing truly difficult times; and yet, despite their doubts and unbelief, Jesus reveals His power and care for them in a manner that they could not have otherwise understood.