Last Saturday was “one of those days”. Actually, that “day” probably started Tuesday and simply culminated Saturday.
I’m an internal processor, which my nice academic way of saying I think way too much. My mental torment began last Tuesday, as I lamented over the storms blowing through. By Thursday, I was in deep sorrow over the lives lost across the south, and in a panic over the reality that I could not prevent such things from occurring here. I can do my best to protect us if we are faced with such forceful winds, but our safety is in the hands of the Lord. That reality should’ve brought me comfort. It didn’t.
By Saturday, after a night of attempting to console an irritable, teething baby, oversleeping, leaving my home at the time I needed to arrive at my destination 40 minutes away, I’d had it. I lost it…control.
That’s the interesting thing about control. It’s an illusion. I am continually scrambling for it, but it does not truly exist. Psalm 139 reminds me that all the days ordained for me were written in God’s book before one of them came to be. Sure, I have free will. I can influence some things, affect people, manipulate possibly, But I am not in control.
There is a saying “Because God is in control, I don’t have to be”. I wish I could say that this always brings me comfort. It doesn’t. And I wondered why.
And it hit me. When I am resting in Christ, I don’t struggle against Him. Resting means, I fully believe that through Him all things work together for the good of those who love Him. It does not say that everything will be good, but that things work together for the good. When I am resting in Him I realize that He gives me everything I need for life and godliness. Resting in Him means that when I look at the fruit of self-control, I remember that don’t have to do it. It is a fruit of the Spirit, which means HE cultivates it, not me.
I had been living this week in quite the opposite, not in rest, but in fear and anxiety. In fear, I buck against God’s love and view it in terms of getting or not getting my way. In fear, I grasp after things, mistakenly believing they belong to me, not that I am a steward of them and that all things, relationships, etc. are temporal. In anxiety, I panic, trying to come up with solutions, only to discover loopholes, which provoke more anxiety. It’s a vicious, deadly cycle, which only leads to hopelessness and despair.
Last Saturday, after my dear hubby affectionately kicked me out of the house for some time alone, I headed to dinner. As I walked out of the restaurant, this is what was playing over the system. I just smiled and nodded…
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pains we bear.
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer…”