“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thes. 5:24
Anxiety. Panic. Stress. Worry. Doubt. Fear. Feeling lost and overwhelmed.
As I was drowning in these emotions, I prayed. I pleaded with God, “Please don’t stretch me any more. I can’t do it. I’m done.” In that moment the panic was choking me. Thoughts of walking out the front door and not looking back tormented me. I am in over my head and I can’t even tread water.
In just a couple of months I have dealt with everything from death to adoption to marital conflict to raising kids and making major decisions about their future. Through it all there is one common theme that seems to mock me at every turn. Control.
I think I am in control. I think I know best. Even if I don’t know what’s best now, I will have to figure it out somehow so I come up with the right answer. I have convinced myself I have to say the right thing, do the right thing and make the right decision.
The more intense my need for control. The more intense my feelings of anxiety.
Last night the Lord reminded me: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
“He will do it.” You’d think that at some point along this journey I would realize that someone is in control and that someone is not me. Just saying that out loud to myself is hard. I am not in control. I am not in control. I am NOT in control.
Why is that reality so hard to face? I have no power over the situation I am in. And that terrifies me. Letting go to the unknown is about the scariest place for me to go.
It terrifies me that I have to surrender control or even just the idea that I’m in control. The truth is I have only a small part to play in a grand masterpiece that is being conducted by the divine.
This piece from the book of Job is made for me.
My heart pounds as I think of this.
It trembles within me.
Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice
as it rolls from his mouth.
It rolls across the heavens,
and his lightning flashes in every direction.
Then comes the roaring of the thunder—
the tremendous voice of his majesty.
He does not restrain it when he speaks.
God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power…
Pay attention to this, Serena
Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
Do you understand how he moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?
Can you direct the sequence of the seasons
or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
Do you know the laws of the universe?
Can you use them to regulate the earth?
Then I replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you…
I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
Today, I ask God to give me eyes to see all that God is. I ask him to open my eyes to all that he can do. I ask him to gently reassure me that he is in control and under that control is the best place I can be.