Carest Thou Not?
When the disciples launched forth upon the sea of Galilee on that evening of which three of the Gospels tell, they needed but little faith to put their Master into the helmsman's seat and commit the steering of the ship to Him, for the wind was fair and the sea was calm. But when the storm uprose and the shore lights were lost in the darkness and they found that He had fallen asleep in the place that they had assigned to Him it seemed to them that they had jeopardized their safety.
The good ship might have had some chance of outriding the gale if the helm had been in the strong and capable hands of one of the sons of Zebedee, or if wide-awake Simon had had control, but what hope could there be for it in such a sea while the helmsman slept? As the tempest grew in violence their terror increased, until, when it seemed that the mighty billows would break them utterly, they awake Him with that cry, made bitter by unbelief, "Carest Thou not that we perish?" And in that cry their Master's power over the storm and His love to them were alike arraigned.
What shame must have been theirs when in answer to their cry He rose up from His sleep and calmed the elements with a word! How outrageous must their doubts of Him have seemed when they beheld the waves obey Him as a dog obeys its master!
Ah, why had they no faith? They might have stretched themselves beside Him and known the wonder of unbroken peace in the tempest, and made that night most memorable by their confidence in Him. They might have shared His peace with Him, for it was not indifference that marked that one recorded sleep of His, but peace, wonderful, beautiful, unruffled peace in the wildest storm that ever beat upon that sea. And they were not one whit more safe when that great calm spread itself upon the waters than they were when the great billows thundered upon them, for whether in peace or in calm they were in His care even though He slept.
Had they but realized this they might have honoured Him and saved themselves much worry, for if His hand was on the helm all was well.
Let us beware lest we fail in our confidence in the Lord as those fearful men failed. We may have spoken of safety in Him in fair weather, but now we are surely sailing upon stormy waters and are being tested and may yet be more hardly tested as to where our trust is placed. Let us hold firmly to the fact that He cannot fail. Have we committed ourselves to His keeping? He is most worthy of our trust.
Can we say as said Paul of old, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day"? Can we pass through the present trial no matter how severe it may become, knowing that He could remove it, but does not do so, seems indeed to be asleep in regard to it, and yet be quiet and restful about it all? It is written, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because He trusted in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength" (Isa. 26:3).
Do we know His love and His wisdom so well that we can stay our minds upon Him and put the helm of our tiny craft into His hands and leave it there? Do we ask sometimes, "Carest Thou not?" Let the Scriptures give the answer, "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Let us not lose sight of the end, the eternal home of love that is assured to us by the immutable word of God. Our anchor, both sure and steadfast, is already cast within that harbour of rest.
And though there intervene
Rough seas and stormy skies,
Though by no mortal vision seen,
Its glory fills one's eyes.
There shall all clouds depart,
The storms of life shalt cease;
And sweetly shall each gladdened heart
Enjoy eternal peace.
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