I have absolutely no control.
You see, in this life that we have in the good ol’ USA, we like to think that we have some semblance of control over our lives. That we have some reign on our future — the ability to get where we want to go and do what we want to do with our lives. The idea of the American Dream has been indoctrinated into us from every which way that our culture affects our lives. We are the masters of our own destiny. Sure, God is powerful and all-knowing, but I think sometimes we don’t realize how much we rely on our false sense of control through the ins and outs of the day.
But then lightning strikes, and the disaster hits you square in the face.
But until that semblance of control is stripped away, and the facade that we actually have a say in what will happen to us fades into oblivion, that is when we come face to face with the reality that control was never ours — yet we relied on it so much. We plan our life, we have dreams, we have plans. Our life’s work is aimed at reaching those goals and aspirations. And when the possibility of success is completely stripped from us, our lives begin to crumble. Our false god is failing us, and we are left with the rubble.
Oh, I assure you; these are not just some words that I am saying about some intellectual concept that I have studied or some past experience that I have moved on through. I am completely in the thick of it — and I have no control.
Countless negative emotions can rip right through you in this moment. You begin to realize that your life is going to change in one of several drastic directions based on the decision of another person or a natural occurrence. One of those directions is what you have longed for a long time, what you have worked for and dreamed for. The other is what you fear. It is the antithesis of your dreams. And now that dream’s future existence is put into question, and you have no say on what the outcome will be. You feel hopeless. What is going to happen? The stress can be unimaginable. It can be devastating.
Nausea and a torn heart
But let me tell you, it is in these very moments of burden and sickness that our God will completely and utterly change our very being. Despite the seeming weight of the world upon our shoulders and hearts, despite the anxiety of not knowing — of desperately hoping for one possible answer and fearing the other — our God keeps His promises. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
More than that, I am finding that He has actually designed this situation to work on my heart. First Peter has become such a hope-filled book for me in these past few days. In chapter 1 verse 7, Peter says that these trials are testing our faith and showing whether it is genuine or not. He says that we are being refined, being made strong. The Lord does not want weak disciples, but strong ones — ones who will follow Him to the ends of the earth.
Rely on the Lord. Spend time praying and reading the Word and praising His name. The Lord is going to do a mighty work in your character throughout this time. He is going to refine you, reveal to you your idols that have become more important to you than God himself. All of those dreams and plans will become as nothing, and you will find yourself clinging to the One you should have been clinging to all along. Your heart will tear, but it is the rebuilding of your soul.
I have to rely on the Spirit to renew my mind and heart every five minutes.
We are at war. A great battle is being fought for our hearts and souls. What are we going to do? Drop down into depression and hopelessness, or rise up and run to the Lord with every ounce of our beings? The Apostle Paul told us to run and run with every fiber of our being (1 Corinthians 9:24). That is my heart’s desire. Be vigilant, be strong, delight in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). Watch, brother and sister, as our desires become His desires!
So here I am, waiting (sometimes with anxiety and sometimes with God-given patience and peace). I am waiting on a phone call that could come at any time, whether in a day or in a week, that will drastically change the direction of my life. And I have no control. I have no idea when it will come. I have no idea what it will bring. So you see, I am right in the middle with those of you who are feeling the heavy reality of realizing we have no control. The things that I have learned are not just mere words, but what I am standing on, what I am resting in.
Seek out the Lord, my friend. Let Him teach you; let Him mold your heart. Give Him the promise that no matter what happens, you will never leave Him but that you will follow Him to the end. We have a great expectation! We have a great hope! The Lord says we have a priceless inheritance and that these trials will last only a little while. There is so much pain and fear now, but our God promises that He will get us through it and that there will be much joy (1 Peter 1). Trust in Him; rely on Him with every ounce of strength He grants you. And we will find joy. We will receive much glory and honor for how we face these trials.
Run well, my brother and sister.
I’ll let you know what happens…to be continued.