“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
Alright, I apologize. This was not me yesterday… I drove through 30 minutes of traffic that should have only taken 18 minutes to base to pick up Mitch from work. When I get there, I let him know, but I still have to wait for 45 minutes for him to be released. I have both dogs in the car because I was afraid they would destroy the house if I left them alone for a 2nd time that day, so they were getting anxious. Then, Mitch comes to the window… “So, I was selected to be on duty tonight, and it was not really fair the way they decided…” My brain blew a fuze…
“Are you serious?” I said, trying to hold in disappointment and frustration. A Corporal came over to the car and did the inspection that is routine before the 72 or 96 hour liberty blocks. He said, “Sorry, Mrs. Elston…”
“It’s alright- it happens,” I replied… I don’t know why I was so upset… Maybe because my friends’ husbands had just come home that afternoon, so I was looking forward to spending time with my own husband. I don’t know… How quick I was to forget the blessing of Mitch being home DAYS early on my birthday… Shame on me.
Anyway, I got home, and the first thing I did was spout off my frustration on Facebook… Again, shame on me… I was not being slow to anger, and saying you want to punch someone or something in the face isn’t necessarily being clothed with dignity… I should have reeled in some of my crazy… Anyway, I apologize for my outburst, and after reading my devotional today, I found some unexpected answers.
You see, my biggest struggle, and probably my husband’s biggest struggle in our faith is giving God control… That whole “Jesus, take the wheel” thing is hard for us, for some reason or another. So I decided to look in to that issue, and I was amazed, yet again, by God’s awesome provisions for all of my questions. I’d like to share my train of thought with you, if you don’t mind reading a bit more…
Giving God Control:
God vs. Man: Who has the better track record? (this should’ve been obvious)
- Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-8)- God came down and confused the languages of the people, thwarting their arrogance and self-importance. Shut down; God: 1, Man: 0
- Jacob Wrestles with God (Genesis 32:24-30)- Jacob couldn’t just let God be in control, despite his many promises to care for Jacob and multiply his offspring. Jacob continuously wrestled with God’s plan for him figuratively, until God came down and wrestled with him physically. God tore the tendon in Jacob’s hip, making him walk with a permanent limp; a permanent reminder that he can’t over power God, and that God is ultimately in control. God: 2, Man: Zilch
- Saul’s Conversion (Acts 9:1-19) Saul was one of the biggest persecutors of Christians at that time of the early church. God blinded him; The Lord used the most adamant non-believer to convert in-numerous amounts of people to faith in Christ! God: 3, Man: sitting in a corner, pouting and humiliated because he messed with the Lord…
Those are only 3 examples… The Bible has an estimated bajilliondy more….according to my calculations…Clearly, God rules this earth. So why do we fight it so hard? I decided upon 3 major reasons…
- Fear (Jonah 1:3)- The Bible contains an entire book based on one man’s fear to obey the Lord; Jonah feared that God couldn’t keep the Ninevites from killing him.
- God’s answer to fear: Joshua 1:9; Psalm 91; Mark 6:49-50; 1 John 1:15-21 (I encourage you to look up these scriptures for yourselves and be as amazed as I was at the power of God)
2. Pride (Matt. 26:33-35) Peter refused to believe that he would ever disown Jesus. He was too full of pride to accept that he would be the one to deny Christ. (Interesting, Peter denied knowing Jesus out of fear for his own life… hmm… pattern?)
- God’s answer to pride: Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-19, and 25; Isaiah 29:14 (Emphasis on the part where God tears down those who think they have it all under control)
3. Doubt (Luke 8:24-25) Again, doubt or lack of faith that the Lord can handle our problems arose from fear. THE DISCIPLES! Jesus’ chosen 12! If they faced doubt, what makes us think we are immune?
- God’s answer to doubt: Let’s see the same situation from Jesus’ perspective…
Matt. 14:27-31, 33- 27“But Jesus immediately said to them,‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ 28’Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ 29‘Come,’ He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ … 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.”
Doubt is a lack of faith; the disbelief that God can handle our problems… At this point, my brain said, “Ok, dummy, either you believe he is God, or you don’t. There’s no in between.” But the biggest struggle I face is knowing HOW to give God control. Guess what, the Bible tells you how to do that too… (who’d have thunk it?)
- 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Humble yourselves (admit and accept weakness)
- Pray (Communicate to God your apprehensions)
- Seek God (Spend time reading his word; learn what his will for your life is.)
- James 4:7-8
- Submit (willingly yield to God’s desire for your obedience to his word)
- Resist Evil (turn from what is sin; The Lord’s Prayer addresses this…)
- Come near to God (seek God; Through study of his word; actively spend time getting to know what God desires for and from you)
- 1 Peter 5:6-10
- Humble yourselves (repetition sinking in much?)
- Be self-controlled (this sounds familiar…)
- Cast your anxiety on Him (hmm… through prayer? maybe? Just let God know what you’re struggling with? Acknowledge that you need His help? Perhaps?)
So how do we keep from worrying? How do we destroy our human nature?
- 1 Peter 5:6-10– Cast your anxiety on the Lord
- Philippians 4:4-7 PRAY!!! If you want God to intercede, he requires that you ASK for his help.
- Hebrews 10:22-25– Seek God in fellowship with others. Everybody is having the same struggles you are, sorry, you’re not special in that respect. Build each other up, make each other accountable, and help one another through the struggles, by leaning on Christ.
- Matthew 6:25-34– SEEK GOD. He WILL provide, because he IS FAITHFUL. You don’t have to wonder. God will take care of you, provided you align yourself with HIS will for your life. I promise, he doesn’t want to do you harm.
I don’t know about you all, but I noticed a distinct pattern all throughout the Old and New Testament. People have struggled with this same issue since the beginning of time. Even Adam and Eve refused to believe that God had their best interest at heart, and they thought they could do a better job… We all see how that turned out. It kinda messed things up for the rest of us… But God has ANSWERS!!!! And they are CONSISTENT!!! Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” And he’s right. We as human beings keep asking the same questions over and over expecting an answer that leaves us in control of our own destiny… And it just doesn’t work. You would think that after years and years of failure, we’d figure it out. So what did God do? He proved he has a sense of humor; He kept giving us the same answers to our repetitive questions. Over, and over again, we are reminded that we NEED God, that we can’t keep doing the same disobedient things day after day and expect things to just iron themselves out.
Like I said earlier, letting God have control has given me fits all throughout my faith. But sooner or later, God is going to wrestle with me and give me a limp to remind me I need him in the driver’s seat. So I’m going to choose to avoid the limp, and just seek him on my own. I seem to have rambled on a bit, but Proverbs 31:25 was a little sharp this morning in reminding me that I should not experience temper tantrums, or emotional outbursts, because God has everything under control- I just have to “let go, and let God,” so to speak… Thanks for letting me blather on and on… and Please, help to keep me in line. Heaven knows I need all the help I can get…