God isn’t a control freak

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My son’s memory is really incredible.

I have to be super careful with what I tell him. Whether it’s what we’re having for dinner, or our plans for the day – it better happen in the order that I told him, or I will hear about it for days. I can trust his memory usually better than my own. Does this mean I’m old? I’m hoping to chalk it up to Mom-Brain and leave it at that.

I love how his little brain works, and I’m so impressed with him all the time. But have you ever been shown something about yourself by seeing it in your kids? Sometimes it’s good stuff, like, they get their witty humor from you, or their cute nose from their dad. I’ve started to see something that I’ve been a little unaware of until this past year:

Control.

For him, his toys have to be played in the “right” way. If he’s coloring on a piece of paper, and his sister tries to draw anything on it, it’s ruined. It’s got to be his way. I am pretty sure this is just a kid thing. We’re naturally selfish people and we think we know best – and we want things the way we want them. It starts so early!

Unfortunately, I think our world has made control a diagnosis only. There are those who are Type A, control freaks, OCD, and then there are those who aren’t. If you had asked me six months ago, I wouldn’t put myself very high on the control spectrum. I considered myself pretty laid back, flexible.

As long as things are going the way I think they should.

I believe in Jesus’ eyes, there are two sides: Those who fight for control for their own lives, and those who surrender. Sure, most days, we fall somewhere in the middle. We swing from side to side. We open up our hands, drop our needs at His feet, and then pick them back up again.

Our culture is plagued with anxiety. Seriously. From elementary school to nursing homes, we are worried, stressed and anxious. Anxiety is real, and there are very real ways to cope with it.

But if we, as Christ followers, stepped back and looked at the reasons we find ourselves tense, worked up, and anxious, I would bet it all lands back to control. We fight for it, and it’s not ours to hold.

The freedom from control lies in our surrender.

You may not think this is a struggle for you. Let me just challenge you:

Do you care what others think of you?

Do you worry about having well-behaved kids who others are impressed with?

Are you worried about your future?

Do you fight with other people because they never see things the way you do?

Are you afraid to bring certain things to God because you’re afraid of his response?

Are you afraid to trust that if you let go, God will truly see you through?

The areas where we feel the need for control usually indicate where we are lacking trust.

How do I know I’m feeling out of control?

I clean. I’ve learned that when I can’t control the things around me, I find something else I can control. It’s not necessarily bad – but it’s not the answer. When I’m worried, feeling out of control – the only answer is Him.

The peace comes from declaring once again, to myself and to Him, that He is God and I’m not. That I trust His ways and that He’ll care for me when I have no idea what’s going on. That He’ll help me learn to discipline my kids when I feel like I’m failing. That He has my back when other people are doing me wrong. That He wants to teach me how to love others who think differently than me. That He will not only get me through today, but He has a future planned for tomorrow.

The amazing thing is that God doesn’t fight for control, and He certainly doesn’t force our surrender.

God, the creator of all things, wants you to trust Him simply because He is trustworthy. The only One with ALL power, authority, wisdom, and every other perfect thing – will not force you to choose Him. He will wait. Because every decision He made in creating you was rooted and grounded in love.

Maybe you’re aware of the areas where you fight for control. Maybe it’s something you’ve struggled with for years. But you may be totally unsure. Ask God today what areas of your life aren’t completely turned over to Him. Where are you struggling to trust Him?  Where is control hiding in your life? Ask, and He will answer.

 

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you His heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you… Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalms 37:4-7

 

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