It was an easy question to answer. “What are some things we want to have control over?”
Did I mention kids?
Did I mention Spouses?
Did I mention health? You get the idea…
I guess the question really should be, what don’t we want to have control over? And we try our hardest don’t we? I know I do. And I think that is where the fear can creep in. We are smart in enough to know that, try as we might, we will never really be in full control of our lives…and that is scary. Its scary because it is a scary world, with scary diseases, scary people, and scary tragedies. We fear because we cannot control.
It was a funny thing. As I prayed about it and dug through the Bible I wondered why “Thou shouldest give God full control” was not one of the commandments. Why was there not more about “letting go and letting God.” Well…I think its because…we can’t give God something He already has. He already is in control, we just don’t accept it.
We don’t accept it because we cannot see it. What we see are pretty normal days intermixed with some annoyances that stress us out and we lose focus. What we see are news story after news story after news story of horrific happenings, things too terrible to speak of. What we see is how things never go as planned, someone is always hurt, people are always living in sorrow, and we lose site of the bigger. We think because our fingertips control our minutes that our lives are not fully in HIS hands. Oh but He is, and I know that He would love for us to rest easier remembering that He is…instead of constantly grappling at control.
What about providing for our families, our lives? Bring peace and comfort for your family? We could kill our everyday trying to stress out of our minds to make more money and find more and creative ways to do more…be more…get more. Or we could Proverbs 3 it:
“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.” v. 1-2
Learn God’s teaching and keep His commands firmly in our hearts…now that sounds much nicer.
What about our reputations? Do you want people to think highly of you? To be the talk about town in a positive way? We could post minute to minute Facebook postings that only capture the best and brightest and constantly strive to eat less and look beautifuler…or beautifulest…or at least good enough to get attention for it. Or we could Proverbs 3 it:
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.” v.3-4
Love and faithfulness, that seems simple enough. I think my days (and husband and children) would thank me if I only spent my times on those two in replace of all the other crazy things I put into my day.
What about our Future? Our kids future? Paying for college? Retiring? How about not having anyone I love die? I think I would really love to control that one…big time! We could freak out. I mean like every second, freak out because the more I think about the future the more it worries me. Stresses me. Brings nothing but fear and anxiety to the long list of things that I cannot control. Or we could Proverbs 3 it:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.” v. 5-6
Its the understanding thing. My own understanding, my own control, my own ideas…they lead me so far away from the truth sometimes. From the things that truly do matter. The things in this life that lead to real living. I pray these verses over my children every single night. Not only for them but for myself too. That if we could just become masters in trusting the Lord with all our hearts and seeking His will in all we do then we will be good. Then we could all be okay.
What about our health? We could spend every waking moment we have on this one. We could do our best to constantly keep up with the latest trends in health and nutrition, the rules keep changing and the information never…stops…coming…at us. Or we could Proverbs 3 it:
“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.” v.7-8
This one makes me giggle a little because my brain does not easily connect what one has to do with the other. What does not being impressed with my wisdom, respecting God, and turning from evil have to do with my body and health? According to God…everything. The endless chasing after the wind of stress after stress after stress probably does far worse for my body than food ever will, and so there is something here to be said about seeking the greater thing first. If the foundation is built well the house will stand.
Its a interesting dance, that is for sure. The teeter totter between working hard with what we have been given and the responsibilities that are ours keeps us on our toes when we ask ourselves “Do we really acknowledge that God is the one in control of my life.” And then, “Can I let go of the things I hold so tightly in my grip, the things I hold onto too tightly?”
God literally had to wrestle me into a submission hold. I didn’t want to accept what had come into my life. I didn’t want to acknowledge that my little baby son would die and I wanted to some how figure out a way to fix it…to control it. I tried everything humanly possibly to do. I contacted St. Judes, UNC, and spoke with literally every single doctor at my practice. None of them gave me what I wanted and I realized, for the first time in my life, that any control I thought I had had was simply an illusion. Trickery that I let my mind believe so that I could pretend everything would also go well for me. Why? Well because I became so good at controlling I actually thought I could keep bad things away.
Well I can’t. And now I don’t want to. Because when the bad things come, and my ideas have run out, I want the peace that comes with remembering….it is not mine to make new…it is my Heavenly Father’s.