Who’s in Charge Here?
“[The disciples] were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”
Mark 4:41 (NIV)
When I was a manager in a local Benefit Agency office, claimants would call into the office to discuss their case with the counter clerk. If they were unhappy with the information given they would often say ‘I want to see the person who is in charge’ and I would have to go and see them with the aim of resolving the problem or getting them to understand why the information they were given is correct.
Recently I was on the other side of this type of scenario. I phoned a government agency on three separate occasions only to be told that the information I needed was being dealt with and should be received in a couple of days. On the fourth time of phoning I asked to be put through to the manager in charge of the call centre so that the manager could expedite matters for me.
When something doesn’t quite go as planned we want to know, ‘who’s in charge here’?
This reminds me of the situation Mark describes in the fourth chapter of his gospel. The Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below sea level and surrounded by hills. Winds blowing across the land intensify close to the sea, often causing violent and unexpected storms. The disciples were seasoned fishermen but during this squall they panicked. Things weren’t going as expected; where’s ‘The Teacher’, the person who’s supposed to be in charge? Is he grabbing the mast? Or holding on to the steering wheel trying to navigate through the storm? Is he at the helm? No, Mark records that “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion…” (Verse 38). The disciples’ response is understandable: “[They] woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’” (Verse 38)
What happened next was incredible: “[Jesus] got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Verse 39) This immediately led to the most important question anyone can ever ask: “Who is this?” (V.41) Jesus’ action of stilling the wind and the waves demonstrated who he was, for as Psalm 107 shows, it is the Lord God who “[stills] the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” (Verse 29)
The Christian life may have more stormy weather than calm seas. On those occasions it is vital that we know who is in charge and will bring us safely through to our desired haven (c.f. Psalm 107:30). We may think that Jesus is asleep and doesn’t care about our circumstances when we are going through a storm, but let’s have the faith to believe that when Jesus is in our boat the Lord God is still in charge and has everything under control. Thankfully, Jesus is in charge not only of the winds and the waves but of our entire lives, and will see us safely home (c.f. Philippians 1:6).
Now wait a minute, there’s a storm brewing, who’s in charge around here…?
Lord, I am so thankful that you are in charge of every situation that I face. Help me to stay close to you through the storms of life and to trust you with whatever this day holds.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
Worldwide Church of God London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 020 8202 3998