I confess to being a fixer. If something’s wrong, I can’t rest until it’s taken care of. If there’s a problem with my family, I have to find a solution. Sometimes that’s good, but sometimes I can get in God’s way. Of course He’s powerful enough to go around me or move me, but if I’m holding on to control so hard I don’t trust Him to work, then I could get in the way of his plans.King David decided he knew what he wanted, and he wanted Bathsheba, another man’s wife. So he took her. God sent a prophet to tell him that that wasn’t what God had wanted to happen. God then allowed David to marry Bathsheba, and He brought good through it, but there were horrible consequences as well.
I wonder how much different David’s life would have been if he hadn’t decided he knew, better than God did, what was good for him. I wonder what really great things God might have planned for him, but then when David chose his way, God set them aside because David had free will and God let him use it.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
– Proverbs 3:5-7
Sometimes, it’s hardest for me to trust God’s plan when it involves other people. If a family member is sick or in a situation I’m worried about, sure, I pray. But then I think that even though I know God can fix it, what if that isn’t His plan? And then I start trying to take back control. In my head, I know that if God says no to something I ask for, He has a reason. The problem is, I think I know what’s best, and I forget in that moment that I really don’t.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
God wants to give us good things. He doesn’t plan disasters for us just so something can go wrong or to punish us. If something bad happens, then He can use it for the best.
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! – Matthew 7:9-11
Think about that example. A dad wouldn’t hand a hungry child a rock shaped like a biscuit. Neither will God take a request that we have and find a way to give us something that would be bad for us. He isn’t a grinch sitting somewhere cackling about how he tricks us dumb humans. He loves us perfectly and completely.
When I start trying to make God’s plans for Him, I have to remind myself that He is the one who sees how the whole puzzle of life fits together. When I was applying to graduate schools, there were two that I applied to. I was given the opportunity to interview one of them as part of the process to being accepted as a student. I planned to go, even though it wasn’t the one I wanted to go to, and I felt drawn to the other school more. But shouldn’t I take the first chance I had?
So the morning of the interview, which was in a city three hours away, an ice storm shut down the interstate. There was no way I could get there. I called to reschedule, and in the process I found out that if I was offered a spot in that school, I would have to give them a decision before I would have found out if I had a chance with the school I really felt called to. If that happened, I would never know if I could have gone to the school that felt right or not.
I prayed. I felt sick. I prayed some more. I talked to my mom. And I didn’t reschedule the interview.
In the end, I was offered a place in the school that I wanted, and I met my husband in that town I moved to.
I don’t think that God caused a massive ice storm on my account. But I think that he used it to get me to trust Him.
Call it control issues. Or a lack of trust. But sometimes I really have to work at letting God be in charge. I have to remind myself that God always has a purpose and He does know better than I do what is good for me.
When is it hard for you to let God have control? What do you do about it?