God’s in Control?

January 3, 2023 | Russ Moe

Thunderous bombardments of water crashed into the boat. The roller-coaster upheaval made even experienced mariners seasick. Thrown like a bathtub toy, the ship was out of control.

“We perish!” cried the disciples.

Resorting to the only option left in such peril, they called on the Lord. Roused from sleep, the Savior went to work for His students.

“God is in control!” He shouted through the deafening noise.

A giant breaker flung John over the side barely hanging onto Peter’s garment for his life.

Watching the disciple whom Jesus loved drown, James screamed out, “Did you say God is in control?”

“Yes, God controls all things,” yelled back the Master.

Another avalanche of water obliterated all vision.

“We’re getting killed,” shouted another disciple as the ship plunged straight downward.

“Attitude is ninety percent of the problem,” said the Lord.

Thomas shouted out, “Did you say our latitude is the problem?”

“Don’t doubt, Thomas; nothing ever happens unless God allows it.”

“Then we must be off course,” said Thomas.

“You just need a new perspective,” cried the Teacher.

Lifted straight up by another gigantic squall, all was thrown backward. Judas cracked his head on the mast. Piled up by the irresistible force of the waves, the men tumbled over each other into the stern of the ship.

“Remember, everything happens for the good,” said the “Savior.”

“Judas is bleeding!” screeched Andrew.

“Everything happens for a reason,” came His answer.

“My arm is broken,” howled Thaddeus.

“There are no such things as accidents,” hollered the teacher back to them.

Swamped, the boat listed hard a starboard ready to capsize.

“Can’t something be done about this?” cried the Zealot.

“God is sovereign, Simon,” came the response.

Begging to understand, Matthew cried out, “Why is God killing us?”

“God works in mysterious ways,” exclaimed the barely audible Rabbi.

The battered crew finally limped ashore from the broken ship. The boys had a new lesson scratched into their lives: The answer to the world’s woes is God is in control, all that needs changing is attitude and perspective. Disheartened by the unappealing Gospel of a God who does such things to people, the entire group balked at continuing. Then the justification that drives all its followers onward arose in the natural mind: “we just can’t understand!” 

Is God in control? Of course. Is He controlling all things? Of course not! Things happen in a father’s household that he may not allow but he’s still in charge. The difference is being in control versus controlling.

Is God sovereign? Yes, but Christ petitioned, “… Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven,” (Matthew 6:10, KJV) because here, it’s not. God’s sovereign will has allowed “this present evil world,” defying His will, to continue (Galatians 1:4).


“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, KJV). His love extended time for man to choose his eternity.

Obviously, my story is fabricated. All the opposites of it represent the true gospel of Christ’s salvation. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead cast out devils …” (Matthew 10:7-8, KJV) was His instruction. He did not say, “Tell the world God never gives you more leprosy than you can handle, and God meant your demons for good, death is a blessing and sickness is a gift.” Christ’s answer for the world’s woes is God’s power, not tricky verbiage rationalizing the absence of it.

When we boldly represent His uncut message by His Spirit, He backs it up with the miraculous. God desires to confirm the good news of His Son and His salvation. It reveals His goodness. That’s the savior the world “God so loved” needs (John 3:16).

Let’s testify as witnesses of the storm that He literally calmed in our lives.

“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following …” (Mark 16:20, KJV).