As someone who has always been more of a person who is used to pushing through life’s situations and circumstances this journey has been very challenging.
The reality is, I have always been a person who prided themselves on “DOING” rather than simply waiting around or letting life and its inevitable challenges simply come my way as it may! Now, the challenge with finding one’s pride or identity even in being an initiator or self-starter is it is easy to find ourselves slipping down the slippery slope known as CONTROL!
Dictionary.com defines “CONTROL” as a noun this way:
“The act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command
Now, a great way to think of the kind of CONTROL that can be a slippery slope in our lives is to phrase it this way… “Who’s in CONTROL here?”
So, why do I describe this as a slippery slope? Well, that’s because the reality is, we are NEVER fully in CONTROL of anything in life and I think from a faith perspective we were NEVER intended to be!
You know, the truth is many of us spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to CONTROL the things that come at us or that come our way in this thing called the journey of life and faith. However, what happens for many of us who find ourselves in this realm what we find out is that despite our best efforts and sometimes intentions (which is another topic for another day) we still wind up facing the stuff we spend so much time, energy and focus trying to avoid.
You see, what often happens to us when despite our best efforts we still get hit with the stuff that comes with life as we know it, we wind up becoming bitter, angry, frustrated, resentful, discouraged, and even depressed! We wind up feeling like we failed somehow because we couldn’t CONTROL every aspect or detail of our lives to the point that we were capable of avoiding the more negative realities of this life’s journey!
God knows, that I have found myself in many of these places in the past and sometimes in this latest journey with this brain injury I have found myself there once again. The reality is, it is hard not to try and CONTROL the outcomes of the UNKNOWN but once again we were never intended to take on that responsibility. Over and over again in the Bible we are reminded that God is the ONE who is in CONTROL of this world and our lives in ways we will probably (most likely) NEVER understand.
In the Old Testament (may be OLD but it’s full of lots of good stuff for our lives) book of Psalms there is a verse that reminds us of this reality and it occurs in Psalms 46:10 where the author writes:
Now, the point of this simple verse could be presented possibly in a better light “IF” we simply turned it around and read it this way:
“I am God so therefore be still!”
In other words, as the late great theologian and pastor Jonathan Edwards put it: “As He is God an absolutely and infinitely perfect being. As he is God, he is so great, that he is infinitely above all comprehension. As he is God, all things are his own. In that he is God, he is worthy to be sovereign over all things. In that he is God, he will be sovereign, and will act as such. In that he is God, he is able to avenge himself on those who oppose his sovereignty. Therefore be still.”
You know, for years this verse has haunted the “DOER” in me and that is because I couldn’t always relate to the phrase “BE STILL”! STILLNESS has always seemed like such a huge waste of time, money, and momentum. But recently I came across this verse in another translation of the Bible (let me just say in order to gain a fuller perspective on God’ Word I recommend you read out of more than one translation your whole life) where in the NASB (North American Standard Bible) the translators translate the psalmist words this way:
Now, when I read it from this perspective it HIT me like a ton of bricks! Cease STRIVING… Cease trying to CONTROL… Cease trying to be GOD!
Instead allow God to be God… allow God to be sovereign over the things that you seek to attempt so feebly to CONTROL and TRUST Him to walk with you through the storms and trials you face as well as the victories and triumphs along the way!
The truth is, all the STRIVING we attempt on our own can NEVER match what God can accomplish in and through our lives when we learn to LEAN on Him and TRUST Him in the journey!
Seeking to KNOW and NOT CONTROL…