Summary: God not only cares, but when you are rightly related to God, you have the answer to the five biggest problems of life. This message examines Psalm 23 and explains how when the LORD is your shepherd, it’s enough.
I am no different from anybody else here. And the proof of that is that there are times I feel like looking at people and saying the same seven words you do. They are, "Sometimes I wonder if you really care." Now obviously there are times I feel like saying that more than others and there are some people I feel like saying that to more than others. And I know what some of you are thinking, "I know what you mean, Larry. One of them is your wife." Well, I have to confess that I am not able to say that. Because I married out of my class. I got a better deal when I got married than she did. I heard of a teenager who had fallen in love who went to her mother and said, "Do you think I should marry him?" Her mother said, "Go ask your dad. He made a smarter decision in marriage than I did." Well, I have to confess, I made a smarter decision in marriage than she did. Because I married a pearl, but she married a project. And I would have no basis for saying to her, "Sometimes I wonder if you really care."
But if you were to ask people the question, to whom do you most feel like saying, "Sometimes I wonder if you really care," they may tell you about a preacher they heard on Sunday or a plumber they hired on Monday. They may tell you about someone better paid such as the boss for whom they work or someone lesser paid such as the bus driver who takes them to their work. They may tell you about a brother within their family or a branch within the U. S. Government.
For example, if there is one branch of the U. S. government that many feel just doesn’t really care it’s called the I.R.S. - irritating, revolting and sickening. Now there is no doubt in my mind that they receive a lot more flack than they deserve. But a number of years ago, something happened to me which helped me understand why people feel the way they do. I got a letter from the IRS which said, "We have examined your tax return." Now those are the six words that precipitate most heart attacks. But then it went on to say, "And we have discovered that we owe you a refund of $1,897.01. You may have received the check. If not, please allow two weeks for it to be mailed to you." Was I ever excited! I was happier than most people are when they find out a tornado hit the town where their worst enemy lives. I began to think what I could do with $1,897.01, particularly if my wife didn’t know I had it.
But then I did something that some would think is rather stupid. I couldn’t figure out how in the world that could be true. So I called a woman at the IRS and said, "I can’t figure out how I made a mistake of $1,897.01 in my favor, but please explain what I did because I plan to do it again." And the woman very kindly said, "I am certain that is a mistake." I said, "Look, all of us make mistakes. Don’t let it bother you. I accept the check as your apology." "Well," she said, "Don’t spend it because I guarantee you they will be asking for it back."
Sure enough, four months later I got a second letter from them that said, "Our records show the refund check we sent you was incorrect. You owe us $1,897.01 in refund, $13.50 in penalty for paying this amount late, and interest of $245.14 which you have undoubtedly collected on the amount for the four months you’ve had it." I was furious. I thought, "This is the most creative way I’ve heard of to balance the federal budget." Well, to make a long story short, the kind woman at the IRS who now knows my social security number by heart told me that she had no idea where that second letter came from. It apparently was a letter they did not know they had sent, written by a person they didn’t know they had hired, asking for funds they did not realize they had asked for. All I had to do was return the original amount and everything would be just fine.
But to be very honest with you, in the time it took to get that settled, in light of all the time it took me and the coldness of some of the people I talked to, I at times felt like saying, "Sometimes I wonder if you really care."
A series of explosions one time ripped through Guadalajara, Mexico killing 200 people and causing 15,000 others to lose their houses. Residents throughout the city said that the day before they had complained about the strong smell of gasoline coming up from the city sewers. Their complaint to city officials as it was reported in Time magazine was, "We told you! We called you! You never paid any attention to us."