“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?’ ” (Mark 4:37,38).

MOST OF US ARE TOO QUICK TO CHARGE GOD WITH “DOING NOTHING.” When He doesn’t do what we wish or what we expect, we jump to some fairly irreverent conclusions: “God doesn’t care that I’m suffering” or “God has let me down” or “God has rewarded me poorly for all the years that I’ve served Him.” But surely we can think on a higher level than these thoughts.

At times, God does not help us until our need has grown greater. In the story of Jesus’ calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were too quick to assume that Jesus didn’t “care” that they were “perishing.” But they weren’t perishing, at least not yet. Jesus would have taken action when the time was right; meanwhile the disciples should have hung on. So we need to learn the lesson of the tempest: we should let God decide when the situation has grown dangerous enough to warrant His action.

At other times, we can’t recognize God’s help until our need has grown greater. We’re often hindered by pride and self-sufficiency from seeing God’s help, and so we may have to “hit bottom” before we open our eyes to what has been there all along.

Elijah is a wonderful study in the dynamics of discouragement. Fleeing the murderous intent of Queen Jezebel, he fled to the desert, fearing that he was all alone in the world. If God had cared about Elijah, wouldn’t He have relieved Elijah’s depression? No, it was only when Elijah’s depression had worsened that he was prepared to hear the “still small voice” of God’s help.

So has God been helping you with your problems? Be careful what you say. If it seems that He has not, He may be waiting until a bit more is in danger of being lost than what you think is at stake right now. He may be saying, “Trust me. I will act when the time is right.” But even now, God may be helping you more than you realize. Are you receiving His “manna” every morning, but it doesn’t seem very appetizing or nourishing? Well, you won’t appreciate it until you’ve grown hungrier than you are right now.

“God does not leave us comfortless, but we have to be in dire need of comfort to know the truth of his promise” (Peter Marshall).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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