We often believe we need to control our lives and wrongly believe we have control. The more we attempt to control our lives, the more we learn we do not have complete control of our lives; far from it.
Probably the clearest clue we have that complete control is unobtainable is: we are not the one and only human being walking on the face of the earth right this minute. There is always someone else (or something) in our lives fighting for control of our lives.
The quickest way to know you have no control is to become a parent.
Imagine you are sleeping. Soundly. What a great night’s sleep you are experiencing, and suddenly you’re robbed, robbed of your great shut eye by the ear-piercing wail of your precious, sweet-smelling newborn. You’re NOT in control mom and dad. For that span of time little Ella or David is in control, and in order to go back to your peaceful, and formerly uninterrupted sleep, you’ve got to feed your wee one. AND they are not going to wait for one fraction of a second for you to get a warm bottle or for a comforting nuzzle against mom. Can you relate?
Or perhaps relate now…
Lose a job, or your home to fire, perhaps you experience a sudden onslaught of sickness, or cancer. Not yet? Your child is painfully bullied, or maybe even you, as an adult are being bullied by those you assumed were your friends. Maybe you’re in a car or plane crash, or there’s a gut-wrenching loss of a loved one. These are all examples of not being in control.
When you are at your bottom the knowledge of not having control is all too real.
Over the last several years my husband and I have lived the world of not being in control. One of the first signs of this great reality was when I started having continual heart flutters. One night, in my kitchen while in the midst of cooking supper, I sat on the floor feeling extremely lightheaded. I thought if I was about to pass out the floor was the best place, I reasoned, to be. Between pleading with God to let me live and wrestling with whether or not I needed to grab the phone and dial 911, I wondered if I was taking my last breath, but also the thought of what if it wasn’t really anything and I made an unnecessary call which would, in turn, lead to a needless scare and unwanted medical bill. Yeah, maybe not that rational, but I started talking myself down from my state of panic between prayers to God. I was scared. Thankfully the heart monitor I was wearing was recording every little unusual beat of my heart, and yes, the frightening moment did pass. It wasn’t long after this episode my doctor determined I had PVC or Premature Ventricular Contractions. It’s when a heart makes extra beats it shouldn’t be making, but the good news, it isn’t life-threatening, just frightening and a bit of a nuisance, robbing a person of peace and rest. After going to a local heart doctor I learned my heart was very healthy; it just had an odd beat, which I’m hoping will go away on its own one day. (Not long after my diagnosis the extra beats did begin to lesson.) There’s something about knowing you’re not dying that can have an extremely calming effect, and a few, or a lot of extra heartbeats, are strange reassurances your heart does work, just a little differently than most. There are times these extra beats sneak up on me and bring with them very little sleep, like in recent weeks, but it’s just one of those things I have to submit complete control over to the One who has control over everything.
Along with this uncontrollable aspect of my life, a couple of years ago my husband lost his job of 28 years. He could have retired this year with benefits, but now we live by faith, more than we ever have before. We’re grateful his family had a business he could join them in. While some month’s the business is dry and getting by is a struggle, God shows us He is in control. We haven’t gone hungry. We’re still together. I’m still able to homeschool our children, and God has kept a roof over our heads. We are grateful—more than words worth.
I could go on and on with examples from these past few years detailing how I have no control over my life or the life of my family. I could have blamed God, become bitter and just given up. Although there have been plenty of times I wanted to, I didn’t, because I know who holds me in His hands: God. I don’t understand the whys of it all, but truthfully I don’t have to. I shouldn’t expect to understand something God is using to accomplish His purposes in me.
He cares for me with an unfailing love.
He cares for YOU with an unfailing love.
In our homeschool we memorize verses, and have been doing so for eight years. We’ve worked on memorizing the usual verses, a few out of the norm verses, and even a few chapters in the book of Psalm (19 & 24). The verses we are working on right now are found in Psalm 36. Verses 5 through 7 read: “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings (NLT).”
I love these verses. That’s THE Sovereign LORD: absolute ruler of the universe working to care for us. His love is unfailing. He is faithful. He is righteous. He is just. He loves like no other. Isn’t it comforting? We can find shelter from everything that goes wrong in the shadow of His wings.
There’s not a better place to be.
Slip by tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day to learn about the Sovereignty of God on this month’s Theology Tuesday. Can’t wait for you to sit with me!