Carest Thou Not That We Perish?

By David J. Stewart

Mark 4:38-39, “And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Jesus was with His disciples on a ship sailing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was asleep. A great storm arose and the Bible tells us in Mark 7:37 that the ship was taking on much water, “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.”

As the mighty winds blew and the ship filled with water, the disciples became fearful. They eventually panicked and ran to wake Jesus from His sleep. In desperation they woke Jesus saying, “Carest Thou not that we perish?”

There is a powerful lesson to be learned from this Scripture passage. There will be stormy times in every believer's life when the winds blow and one's ship begins to sink. It is quite easy for us to think that God doesn't care if we perish, just as the disciples thought.

In Mark 4:40 Jesus said to His disciples, “And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” We must trust in the Lord at all times, especially when the ship begins to sink, for this is when the greatest faith is required. Anyone can have faith in God during fair weather; but few believers are mature enough in the Lord to survive a sinking ship. Have faith in God.

Consider that God could have calmed the storm earlier if He had wanted. The disciples were allowed to endure the stormy winds and flooding ship until they were at their emotional breaking point. The disciples panicked. They didn't merely wake Jesus saying that there was a storm. Nor did they calmly wake the Lord. They abruptly woke the Lord in a fury of emotion saying, “Carest Thou not that we perish?”

The disciples felt that they were about to die. They feared the worst. The Bible tells us that the ship was “now full” of waves. In their desperation they woke the Lord and accused Him of not caring. Is this not what so many believers do today? It is so easy when one's life fills up with the waves of life's problems to accuse the Lord of not caring. Lord, don't you care if I perish? My life is filling up with waves, I am sinking, don't you care?

Jesus does care, just as 1st Peter 5:6-7 promises, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” Notice that God has His own “due time.” Until that times comes we are to have a “humble” heart before God by casting our cares upon Him.

The reason why the disciples thought Jesus didn't care was because He didn't calm the storm sooner. Yet, it was God's will for the disciples to suffer through the storm until the ship began to sink with water. Suffering is often God's will for our life. It is faith which pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) and only through testing can faith grow. 1st Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”