Mark 4:35-38 – “On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 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?” NKJV
We have all heard the cliché, “Perception is Reality” and for many, it is or becomes their reality. The facts are inconsequential it the focus is their perception. Perception is that upon which their beliefs and actions are based therefore perception to them is Reality! Albeit often a False Reality! In American politics, we had a very real example of that in 1960 when the first-ever televised debate between two political candidates for president was presented. John F. Kennedy appeared relaxed, at ease, and in control, whereas Richard M. Nixon came across as nervous and uncertain. The perception and spin that resulted were that JFK was a much stronger and capable leader and therefore the choice of millions for President based on perception, not fact. That element entered and altered American politics to this day and much of our political climate is Perception and that becomes reality to many.
In our text, we find the disciples in the midst of a storm. Jesus was sleeping in the boat. They were terrified and presumed they were going to sink and die, and Jesus was sleeping! Their perception can be heard in their question when they awakened Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” It was not LORD help us! It was LORD, since you are sleeping through this storm it appears that you do not care what happens to us. You are not doing what we expect, in the manner we expect and in the time frame or with the urgency we expect therefore You must not care! Perception was becoming their reality.
Thankfully Jesus did not let the story end there but arose, calmed the storm, and then addressed the problem. They were fearful because they did not trust Him or the Father. They trusted what they could see and what they could see presented them with the choice to succumb to fear or rise up in faith and they opted for the easy way out and let fear grip their hearts and shape their perception. That led them to accuse Jesus of being unconcerned about their welfare.
When we allow Perception to become our Reality, we dismiss Faith and embrace circumstances, conditions, appearances, and even fear. That reveals another reason we must get all the facts before rendering a judgment. We will not be able to prevent the formation of an opinion but hopefully, we will keep that opinion pliable and allow it to be shaped by Reality, not Perception!
When God does not meet our timetables or our preconceived idea of how He should handle the situation we allow the devil to advance His lie that God Does Not Care or that God Has Forsaken Us. We then forget the promises of Scripture that He will never leave us or forsake us and the words of the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7 that we are to cast ALL our care upon Him, for He Cares For Us! He cares! That is reality! Perception says, He has not responded yet or in the manner or timeframe I expected or desired therefore He does not care. Reality says, He is God and operates in His timing and according to His purposes. Delay is not denial it is delay and even that may only be our perception not reality for, in reality, His timing is perfect.
Therefore, we must resist the devil and his attempts to coerce us into the trap of Perception and making it our reality. We must learn to Believe and Trust God, not circumstances.
May God be with you and allow you to walk in Truth and True Reality as you embrace this new day in the Lord!