I wouldn’t call myself a control freak. I mean, I wouldn’t call myself that. (Haha) But I could understand if someone else might recognize my struggle. I don’t have a control issue so much with people as I do with details and circumstances in my life. I pray everyday for God to have his hand on every area of my life and family. I believe He is present and in control. I believe God is good. However, I find myself struggling with the need to control certain circumstances.
But I guess I am in good company. Jesus hung around with a few control freaks as well. Peter was a bit of a control freak. So much so, that when the soldiers showed up to arrest Jesus in the Garden. Peter went a little crazy. Cutting off ears and such, and in trying to stop what was inevitable and necessary, he displayed his need to control the situation.
It gives me great hope to know that one minute Jesus is telling Peter that he is in the rock He will build his church on (Matthew 16:18) and a few verses later in Matthew 16:23 Jesus rebukes him and says “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Jesus goes on to tell Peter that this is all necessary. Oh, how Jesus understands this pitiful flesh. One minute we have it all together and the next, something storms up and threatens our normal, and we, like Peter, lose our peace and ability to be still. One minute we are posting about how we know our help comes from God and the next we are spouting “approved Christian curse words” because there’s a wrench in our plan. Just like Peter out on the water, we take our eyes off Jesus.
When things start to go off track, we always need to put down our sword and look and listen to our Savior. Just like Jesus told Peter, (I’m paraphrasing) your problem is that you have your mind on temporary, earthly things, this situation is eternal.
I know there were times when our Savior struggled with situations He wanted to, but chose not to control. The garden, being questioned before the cross, and then being crucified. Jesus had the power to stop it all from happening. But He had His mind on eternal things.
There will always be situations I cannot control. Some of them will be insignificant, temporary things, and some of them may hold the potential to make a lasting impact on my life. But either way, God is in control. I remember praying and begging God to intervene and save my husband when it looked certain he would pass away. There I was 24 years old, asking God to intervene and change the direction of what was happening in that moment. He did not change the course of that moment. I could not change it. And so, that chapter of my life played out (as they all do) just as He had written. I did not understand it, I did not like it. And certainly not right away, but over time I realized that this was one of those eternal situations, and so I asked God to help me see it that way. And along the way, I have had some moments where I didn’t want to but I just had to get my eyes higher. Because that is where the healing, the redemption, the grace and mercy reside.
I believe strongly that standing in the face of a heartbreaking trial and having to trust that God knows best doesn’t come easily to these human hearts of ours. Honestly, it shatters the very ideal that you can control life’s circumstances. I think it may make us a little more of a control freak after the fact. For me, I feel like it has left me with a struggle to control all the circumstances that I might have any chance of controling. I default to this even when I know it’s absurd.
I feel like Jesus shakes His head every single time. I can hear Him gently whispering, “get your mind higher, set your gaze on me.” I know He’s right. His track record is impeccable. I can always look back and see His best for me doesn’t always look the way I imagined.
Isaiah Chapter 55 (v.8-9) tells us that His thoughts and ways are higher than our own. We cannot begin to comprehend why He takes us down the narrow path. But again, that’s where we find out that He restores our lives and makes them beautiful in a way we could never imagine. I am so thankful that He waits while I wrestle for control. I am so thankful He pours out mercy while my hands hold on so tightly to the thing He has asked me to let go of.
It’s hard not to worry when things get chaotic. It’s hard not to want things to go smoothly and never spin even a little out of control. Jesus understands, He has been there, too.
So, get your mind higher, get your eyes on Jesus. Pray about the long haul. Most of these ole worldly trials are necessary. Uncomfortable, inconvenient, sad, costly, overwhelming, and necessary. That word helps me put down my sword and let Jesus fight for me. Sometimes, most times, the only thing we can control is whether or not we will simply rely on Jesus.
From one recovering control freak to another, let’s hold on to our peace, there’s a bigger picture…and it’s beautiful beloved…absolutely beautiful.
Love in Christ,
I would LOVE to hear from you! Do you struggle with a need to control? Do you need prayer? Email me or comment below. 💙