Have you ever felt let down by God, because something in life didn't go the way you planned?
Have you ever wondered if God really cares because He seems very silent or distant to your current struggles?
I have. As a special needs mother with two precious boys with special needs, I have questioned if God cared about our family every time another diagnosis, another hardship, another struggle came our way.
I was relieved to see that other Bible heroes voiced this same exact question to Jesus.
First, in Mark 4:35-38 when the disciples and Jesus were on the boat and a storm hit and the disciples were terrified while Jesus slept peacefully. "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" they demanded.
And secondly, in Luke 10:38-40, Martha is bustling about making last minute preparations to feed at least thirteen hungry men supper, while her sister is sitting around. "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
One thing I realized recently about this question is that the disciples and Martha had seen Jesus do mighty things and teach mighty things and they expected Him to simply care about their situations. Sure, a miracle would be cool, but all they wanted was to know that Jesus was on their side and that He shared their concerns. That wasn't too much to ask, was it?
The second thing to note, is that the disciples and Martha were deeply loved by Jesus. And they loved Jesus as well. Maybe it's that relationship that makes us feel comfortable making demands. Or maybe it's simply that expectations develop the closer you get to a person. Either way, they knew that Jesus cared about them, but He wasn't showing them the care they expected in their tough situation and they let Him know they were disappointed. They expected Jesus to show He cared about them, and instead it seemed as if He was ignoring them completely.
Jesus' response to their question could have been harsh. Here He was, the Messiah, about to die for these people He loved and how dare they question Him. But that's not how He responded at all.
In both cases, He was right there beside them. Reminding them that He was always near. That He knew who they were. And that He always had something to teach them.
It may seem like He's sleeping and silent during our storms, but He told the disciples before He fell asleep "Let us go over to the other side," Mark 4:35. He promised they would make it across. But they forgot that promise and saw only the wind and the waves.
And it may seem like God doesn't care about our concerns and our situations and our struggles, but as He did with Martha, He calls us His dear child and reminds us that what we need to be focused on what can be learned at His feet. "There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42
It's not easy to let go of our expectations of God and of how we wanted our lives to go. It's much easier to point fingers, cast blame, and question God Himself.
It takes an intentional mindset to let go of our expectations and demands and determine to surrender and to sit at His feet and learn from Him when circumstances are tough. This could be even harder to do when our circumstances are hard, but that's when we need to be sitting by His feet, learning from Him the most.
Are you standing on His promise that He's there to help you get to the other side, even when the storm is raging?
Are you sitting at His feet, choosing the better thing, like Mary did?