I am a recovering control addict. Perhaps, this is an area you have struggled in as well. A desire for control can often be a source of fear and anxiety in our lives. We obsess over our education, career, family, fitness, and finances, and more. If our proposed trajectory veers off-course, we feel the need to fasten our grip and cling tighter to whatever decisions we can puppeteer.
Often, the result is a spiral of suffering for both ourselves and those we love.
We worry because we strive for control. We torment ourselves thinking the future depends upon how closely we can manage every detail. In our fear and worry we often see what is lacking, rather than what has already been provided. We fail to fully understand we have a loving Father who designed His perfect plan for us. He loves us and cares for us immeasurably. He has numbered the hairs on our head. He has destined our days. He has prepared good things for us. He wants us to enjoy Him in His journey. He wants us to participate in His kingdom.
When circumstances go awry, we experience anxiety because we fear we have lost control over our situation. God teaches us through His Word that He is in control over all things (Luke 12:22-31). Jesus explained to His disciples how God provided to the least of His creation and contended that the Father would provide even more to His beloved children. Jesus told His disciples to not worry and to not be anxious. This is not a mere suggestion but a bold call to action. It is a command to trust; to have faith. It is a command to recognize the Lord is in control and, by doing so, surrender to the One who created them, the Almighty God.
We cling to and strive for what is known and what is safe when our Heavenly Father wants us to let go and trust Him in our journey. When we trust God for our provision, our guidance, and our purpose, we find rest.
As a teenager, I participated in a mission trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Everywhere I went I was greeted with hospitality and grace. Before the trip, I assumed everyone I met would be brokenhearted, anxious, and downcast. Instead, I saw faces of joy and faith. As we worshiped, we sang songs of thanksgiving and blessing. I witnessed how the people lived in poverty yet praised God for their abundance.
In their material lack was an overflow of faith.
As a sixteen-year-old, I found the experience overwhelming. How could people have so much joy, when they had so little, materially? God showed me the answer was in His control over their lives. The believers in Jamaica weren’t concerned with their daily provision because they knew their Heavenly Father had His hand on them. They willingly shared what they had because they understood it didn’t belong to them. My hope was to one day live with the same freedom they had found.
As we go forth this week and trust in God’s control of our lives, I encourage you to reflect on a praise chorus we sang in Jamaica. Whenever I feel anxious and want to take the reins from God, remember these words:
“I am blessed. I am blessed. Every day of my life, I am blessed. From the moment when I wake up, ‘til I lay my head to rest, I am blessed. I am blessed.”
Week 3 Challenge: This week commit to stop and praise God four different times throughout the day to slow down and thank Him for the ways He is caring for you.
Week 3 Reading Plan
Week 3 Memory Verse