I wrote a fairly decent article about control for this blog. I had it all ready to be posted and then life careened out of control.
I have chosen to be brutally honest and open about what God has challenged me with over the past few days and really over my whole life, rather than give you a nicely-worded, riveting article about control.
Because this is raw. This is vulnerable. And letting go of control means you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and real.
I have spent the past few sleepless nights in tears. I do not know God’s plan or His purpose for things. I trust that His plan is perfect, but I have lost grip of whatever false sense of control I previously had…and that is a terrifying thing.
When I was a kid we used to bring books in the car and use them as “steering wheels.” We knew which direction my dad would be turning, so we would turn our “steering wheels” in that direction at the right time. If I closed my eyes, I felt like I truly was the one driving the car. Yet, sometimes Dad would take a turn I was not expecting, and it would snap me back into reality where I was not truly driving the car.
In many regards, this is how life is…
We sit in the backseat of the car that God has been driving the whole time…we close our eyes and create this illusory sense of control for ourselves. Every turn that we take is expected, and we are prepared for it. We think we are in control.
However, then God takes us on an unexpected turn. He has done this many times in my life and is doing that right this very moment.
Unfortunately, my first reaction is to freak out and try to regain this sort of “control” that I never actually had.
You see, God is at the real wheel the whole time; we just like to pretend that we are driving the car. When life is going well and we expect every turn that we take, then we get this false belief that we are in control.
The fact I want to hammer home in this article is this:
YOU ARE NEVER IN CONTROL.
No matter if you expect or don’t expect what is coming…you are never in control.
God is at the wheel and thank goodness for that.
Just like my dad would not have wanted six-year-old me driving the real car, it is a very good thing that God is the one driving and not us.
There are many instances in Scripture where we can see this very clearly—God is the better driver by far. I had a friend send me two passages of Scripture recently that I want to highlight.
“O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” – Psalm 139:1-5 (I encourage you to read the whole chapter).
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding…What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?” – Job 38:4, 24 (Again, read the whole chapter…and the following chapters as well).
I do not know what your reaction to those passages is…but I find myself in speechless awe. I wrote a guest post on this blog before about learning how to dance in the rain and find joy in suffering, but in order to learn how to dance in the rain, we have to be able to first surrender control to God alone.
To be brutally honest…
I want control. I want to be able to change things myself on my own timetable and in the way that I want the most. It may well turn out that God’s decision will in the end be the one that I wanted…but it also may not turn out that way.
I am craving the ability to control. I do not want to relinquish control…because what if it doesn’t turn out how I want it to? What if it hurts?
Here is the truth that I am clinging to:
God has an amazing, perfect plan that He has been working in my life since before I entered this world until the moment I leave it.
That is terribly painful to say, because it kills me that things may not work out the way that I want them to. But I know that whatever decision is made is what God desires. So, before you, my dear reader…and before God…
I let go. I let go of this incessant need I feel to control things. I let go of the illusion I had of control. I let it all go for the sake of Christ and my belief that His plan and His timing is infinitely better than mine could ever be.
If I was a betting man (which I’m not), I would bet every penny in my bank account that there is something in your life you are not letting go of control of. A loved one who has strayed from the path of life. A major life decision that must be made. A nasty person in your life who you wish would change. An unfavorable situation that you want to be able to change.
Whatever it may be, I am guessing that there is something you are struggling to let go of…you want to be able to control it. And that is not always a bad thing that you want it to change…but if you are not willing to surrender that to God, then it becomes a problem.
I have been open and honest with you. I have poured out my heart in a very vulnerable, difficult way. I pray that God grants me the strength to let go of the felt need to control things.
Now I am asking you. Do you believe that God has a perfect plan? Do you believe that no matter how it may feel, no matter how counter-intuitive it is, that His plan and His timing are best?
Let go of your control, dear reader. Surrender it to God and bask in the peace that comes from no longer fighting for control.
I ask you fervently to surrender the desire to control. I pray that God may give you the strength.
Christian Hanna is a 17 year-old writer for The Heart of Teens (www.theheartofteens.com). He spends much of his free time writing, playing music, and working with kids. He is a pastor’s kid blogger who seeks to give all glory to God in all of his writing and actions. Soli Deo Gloria