We are not control freaks, we just hate that feeling of helplessness when we’re not in control. It scares us, and makes our world seem upside down. When things happen that rob us of the normal, we interpret everything as abnormal.
It’s only human to feel this way, but what I learned recently helped free me of that anxiety. The feeling of helplessness will still knock, but now I know how to answer the door. I can answer its taunting with a simple truth, I’m not in control, and that’s okay.
The reality is, there is very little in life that we actually can control. For some reason, we have this mistaken view that we should be able to control what happens to us. I realized recently that this isn’t a Biblical view of life at all.
If you look it up you won’t find it, at least not in the King James Version. While I realize that it’s not the only version of merit, this was significant to me. It was as if The Lord pointed this out, right in the middle of my battle, that it was a mistaken viewpoint.
Consider this, only God has the ability to control all, yet He doesn’t try to control everything. It was never His goal, compassion was. He made the world, and the systems of creation. Everyone, including the enemy, are under His authority. Yet, He doesn’t attempt to control any of us.
If God had attempted to rule through control, Adam would never have sinned. If He had sought to control Adam, we wouldn’t have been given free will, the choice between right and wrong. God made us free to make choices, knowing we may make choices He disagreed with.
Since God, who has all power, didn’t feel the need to include the concept in Scripture, why does it fill our minds? I’ll be the first to admit it, I go to pieces when I feel helpless. I think it’s societal in origin, this feeling that we should be able to control everything we face.
It’s certainly not historic, man’s history is filled with the lack of control. The Founding Fathers weren’t in control, it was the absence of it that lead to the American Revolution. Some of the greatest events in the world came from a lack of control.
At the same time, it’s only human to want to maintain a peaceful existence. Our thought is, if we can maintain certain things, nothing bad will happen. An attempt to maintain things isn’t bad, we just have to remember the difference between this and control.
We can manage our health, and we should, but we can’t control it. Just ask the twenty year old, with no body fat, that had a heart attack on the basketball court. All of us, myself included, need to work harder to be healthier, but that has really nothing to do with control.
We are what The Bible calls stewards, which means certain things are under our authority, but not in our power. We can calculate our finances, but one unexpected event can shred our budgets. Finally, we as Christians, walk a spiritual pathway, but there are obstacles on the way.
God didn’t promise us control, instead He declared victory for His people. The difference, control seeks to prevent tears, while victory holds us through them. Control is a false hope, victory is a sure promise.
In a crisis we will face both hopelessness and helplessness. God came to reassure us concerning each of them. First, as long as Christ is on His throne, we have a hope beyond this world.
Second, we are not helpless because of our lack of control, just the opposite. You and I don’t know how to face life’s tragedies, but He has walked through all of them. Knowing this can help silence the taunting voice that says we should have prevented this.
No one can prevent all pain, hurt, and loss, but we can endure whatever we face. Once knew this, I saw something. Part of the helpless emotion was a sense of failure.
I thought that somehow I should have seen it coming, or prevented it. When I realized that wasn’t true, it freed me of the guilt. If I couldn’t have stopped it, then why feel helpless? All we have to do through a trial, is to make it through this trial.
Like a child, we can cradle ourselves in God’s care. We can send God to the door because He knows how to answer it. Control isn’t our responsibility, trust is.
Knowing that we were never in control to begin with means we aren’t out of control when something happens. Once you understand that, everything else is secondary. We’re human, that doesn’t mean we’re helpless, it means we are hopeful through Him. We are not in control, we are in Christ Jesus, and that is so much better!