Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tug-of-War

Sometimes things happen in life that we don't like and that we can't change. And you know, that really stinks, especially for control freaks like me. When I expressed that exact thought to God the other day, I could hear His voice, "You don't like it because it's not according to YOUR plan." Oh, He knows me so well.

I was the little girl who read the last page of the Nancy Drew mystery novels first because I wanted to know "who done it". I was the adorable child who would pipe up from the back seat every 15 minutes of a 10-hour car ride, "How much further?" (My parents must have been saints because I don't ever remember being thrown out of the moving vehicle for asking the question for the umpteenth time!). I organized the other kids at recess -- we'd play four square first and THEN we'd jump rope. I was the girl who alphabetized all of her books, her dolls according to size, and her stuffed animals according to which ones I thought liked me best (yes, I was a slightly strange girl). And that little girl grew up to organize all of her spices in alphabetical order, still reads the last pages of a mystery novel, and is a horrible passenger on a long car ride. Yes, I tend to have a control problem.

Currently, I'm going through a slight argument with God. Oh, I know I'm not going to win. But I'm struggling with accepting my lack of control graciously. Yes, I'm ridiculous. It's like I've been playing tug-of-war with Him all my life and in each new circumstance, I'm thinking: "This is going to be the time that I win!"

The incredible thing about God the Father is His infinite wisdom and patience with me. I fret and worry about my adult children and their choices (I have no control; He does) ... I get scared and nervous about an upcoming surgery that I'm going to be having (I'll spare you the gory details other than just telling you it's a "woman" surgery -- enough said! Again, I have no control; He does) ... I worry about finances while I'm off work for a month and my poor husband will have to work doubly hard to make up the extra income (I have no control; He does). Do you see the same pattern here that I do?

My God is Sovereign over everything -- our children, my health, our finances. Day in and day out He's in control regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the choices. And day in and day out He's working to do what is the best -- for His glory, for me, for our children, for you! Really, there's an incredible amount of freedom and security in that -- knowing that God is in total control. I just don't quite understand my continual struggle with it. It really doesn't make sense. To my extremely logical mind, I'm pretty illogical! I'd like to chalk it up to the fact that God made me with this personality so He KNEW this would be what I'm like ... and that's true. But, He also made me with the potential to grow, to mature, and to relinquish this freaky control issue that I have.  Because in all actuality, I'll never truly experience the freedom that God intended me to have until I do.

In the meantime, I'll continue to organize and plan. It really IS a good thing. In fact, I think it's a wonderful godly characteristic. After all, He is a God of order and organization, right?! But I have to make sure that my plans are HIS plan ... that my ways are HIS ways ...that my desires are HIS desires. And when there's a conflict, I need to bend my will to His. He's sooooooo much bigger than me ... sooooooo much more capable. And He lovingly waits for me to relinquish my non-existent control. My prayer? That even though it's not my favorite thing to be reminded that I'm not in control, that He'll remind me daily ... and that I'll rejoice in His beautiful sovereignty.

I'd love to say there will be no more tug-of-war with me and God. I'm sure He'd love to hear that, too! I could say it, but it would very probably be untrue. What I CAN say, however, is that I want to totally trust, to totally follow, to totally submit ... and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He'll work with me to get me that way. He's awesome like that ...

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