God is in control. That truth has been life to me this past week so when I saw that Kate chose “control” as the prompt for Five Minute Friday this week, I knew I would need more than five minutes. I wrote the first part in about five minutes; the rest took some pondering. I hope both parts will bless you today.
This past week has felt like much longer. In fact, looking back, it feels like this time last week was years ago. Do you ever feel that way? So much happens so quickly that you feel it couldn’t have been just days ago that you didn’t have these feelings, these burdens?
Last Thursday, sweet people I’ve known my whole life lost their home to a tornado while they were in it.
Last Friday, a young girl we love lost her mother to a terrible accident.
Last Saturday, more tornadoes, more destruction, more death.
And, I have spent the week grieving and praying and clinging to the only hope I have:
God is in control.
And he is good.
I don’t know why things happen. I don’t know what his plan is.
But I know he has one.
I know he can speak to storms and still them.
I know he can breathe life into the lifeless.
I just don’t know why he doesn’t.
But I trust him.
I trust that he has good plans for his people. I know that he uses all things to call people to himself and bring glory to his name.
We live in a world where people clamor for control. You see it in your Facebook feed. This group wants one thing; that group, another. One leader promises this; another, that. We argue and fight and struggle and strive. We want to control the outcome, and we whine when we can’t.
We forget the simple truth that no leader is ever the Lord.
They are not in control. He is.
Don’t take my word for it:
Psalm 24: 1-2 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
You see, whether it’s the details of our daily lives or the”bigger” things facing the world today, God’s is sovereign over every bit of it.
We don’t have to understand his ways. They are higher than ours, aren’t they? We don’t have to know his plans. We simply have to trust him.
But that’s the hard part. We want to fix things, to manipulate them, to make them into something that makes sense to us.
There’s a reason Christ always commended faith when he found it.
Faith isn’t for the faint of heart.
There are people in this world who will tell you that faith is for the weak, that it’s somehow for the simple.
Don’t buy that lie.
Sometimes having faith is the hardest thing to do. It takes everything we’ve got to rest in Him, to relinquish the control we want to the one who really has it.
But there is immense freedom to be found when we do.
4 Ways Relinquishing Control Frees Us
- We are free from the heavy burden of “making things right.” Whether we’re struggling to see injustice ended or just to comfort the hurting hearts of those we love, the weight of righting things is too heavy for us to bear. We can quickly be buried beneath it. God, however, is strong enough to carry it. He actually carried it to the cross.
- We are free to forgive. We don’t have to seek vengeance because it belongs to the Lord. We are free to forgive because we, too, have been forgiven.
- We are free to rejoice in all things. We don’t have to rejoice because of all things, but we can rejoice in all things because we trust that God is good and that He’s with us.
- We are free from fear. When we know that God loves us and desires to work out everything for our good and for his glory we can live without fear because “perfect love casts out fear.” I love to know that I can rest in the knowledge that “all the days ordained for me were written” in his book “before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139 :16)
How Do We Relinquish Control?
So, if living like we believe God is in control can free us, how do we do it?
- Daily. Seriously. Each day, we have to wake up and give control of this world and of our little places in it to the Lord to do with as he likes. The best way to start is with prayer, with bringing our requests before him and knowing that he hears us, by expecting him to answer. Our desire for control is as old as Adam, isn’t it? After all, wasn’t that the sin that trapped us in the first place? Eve’s desire to “be like God”? To acknowledge that God is in control, we have to acknowledge that we are not. That’s why discipleship is daily. Jesus said, “If any man would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
- When We Have Questions. Whether you have questions about how to parent your kids or hard questions about hate, God has answers. We can take our questions to Him. We may not get answers right away, but we can openly lay our thoughts before him. We can ask to see his hand in the hard things.
- When we are hurting. There are some times that we need to KNOW he’s got this thing in his control, but we often have to give him an offering of faith long before we feel it. Mother’s Day 2009 found me on my knees in the church bathroom lifting up the only thing I had: faith. I’d had a miscarriage in April, and though I had one child to love that morning, my heart was hurting. I prayed the only thing I could: “I don’t want this, but I trust you.” The situation didn’t change, but my heart did.
- By Remembering Who God Is. We need to know Him so that we can know He’s in control. After all, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10
I won’t pretend these things are always easy to do, but I believe we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Even this. If you lack faith, ask for more. After all, faith is a gift from God, is it not? It begins and ends in Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.
How do you walk in faith each day? How do you relinquish control of your life and this world to God? Is it a struggle for you, too? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know what helps you to trust in Him.