It's painful to hear about mass shootings like the two most recent tragedies pouring across our news screens. We've also had recent drive-by incidents in Rose Park. The news circus camped outside one house for a few days as we all pondered the horror of what must have happened in the home and backyard. These shocking events pile upon the regular appearances of a strung-out man on the street corner, screaming at passing cars or a woman stumbling around in the road with her pants around her ankles.
It would be easy to check out, get angry, or become a fearful recluse. Somewhere deep down, we argue with God. We shout, if only in our prayers, "Don't you care God!?!"
But let us not forget the moment the disciples shouted those same words to Jesus.
They were in a storm so severe they knew they were going to die. It was over. Mark 4:37 records that the waves were so big they were dumping into the boat. The eyewitnesses said the boat was swamped. It was going to sink. The wind was ripping across the water, the storm was raging, and they were going to die. Where was Jesus? Asleep on a cushion in the stern of the boat.
It's easy to see this picture because that's often how our life in the storm feels. And what did the disciples do? They woke Jesus up to accuse him. They were ready to blame him.
"Teacher! Don't you care that we're going to die?" they blasted Jesus.
In the next verse (39), he got up and rebuked both the wind and the disciples. To the wind, he said, "Silence," and it stopped. To the disciples, he asked, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
After the storm was subdued, they were terrified. Maybe now the disciple's fear was more significant than before because they knew they were in the presence of God. It seems the better thing to say to Jesus would have been to ask him to save them (without an accusation). "Lord, help us!"
In the aftermath of yet another shooting, more drug addiction, anger toward one another over politics, and the raging storm that's rocking your boat, you have a choice. Accuse God. Or better yet, cry out to God, "Lord, help us!" And maybe we will get a glimpse of his power and glory as the disciples did. Pray. And in your prayer, ask, "Lord, help us."
For the Kingdom!