Tuesday, October 7, 2014

God Is In Control

We often hear, and more often as Christians say, God is in control.  But it wasn't until today that I really understood why that phrase bothers me so much.

When we lose a job, we say God is in control.

When a loved one dies it is often said, in a desire to comfort, God is in control.

If the future is unknown, there's nothing to worry about because God is in control.

But we also take a look at the world and the widespread tragedy of hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, the current threat with ISIS, and we mutter God is in control.

And others, outside the church hear us say that this God we want them to believe in is in control.  And I think what they really hear is that God is to blame for all of these tragedies.

I think the phrase "God is in control" has become so overused and no longer conveys what we are really trying to say.

I would propose that even my own belief that God is in control doesn't really mean what it may sound like.  When I think that God is in control, here's what is really going on.  It isn't that I look at the pain and sorrow in the context of my own life and believe that God is controlling everything.  Wouldn't that mean that God is some puppet master just pulling the strings?  That isn't even close to what I believe.

When I think about my physical pain and this damaged spine I carry around, I do not say God is in control and think that he is responsible for my pain.  No. Rather, I say it and what I really mean is that I have no control over the pain or how quickly my spine is degenerating.  I can't do it on my own but I have hope that ultimately, because God loves me he will give me the strength I need to endure it.  The control I acknowledge that God has in my life and over my circumstances has less to do with him pulling strings and more to do with to do with my complete trust that I can walk through this pain knowing that God is giving me everything I need to endure it.  He is in control because I am placing my life in his hands and trusting that he will carry me when the pain in my life threatens to overwhelm me.

I allow him to comfort, to bring peace to my soul, to bring actual physical healing, should he so desire.  God is in control of my life because I acknowledge that I can't do it alone.  God is in control because I have given my heart to him and know that I can only get through my day with him by my side.

I think there is just so much more to this concept of God being in control that what may be seen on the surface.  I would propose that when many of us say God is in control, it comes from a place of understanding that I need God in my life and I recognize that I can't stand on my own two feet for a second longer without him.  God is in control because I have surrendered my own control over the situation and am standing in his strength and not my own.  It has nothing to do with a grand puppet master pulling strings and controlling every detail of my life.  It has everything to do with the state of my heart and being willing to trust that God will care for me and give me strength because I can't do this alone.

We're going retro, old-school with the music today!

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