Friday, May 27, 2016

Giving up isn't always admitting defeat

A.W. Tozer once commented about this idea of God's control - things looking all amiss and out of control "behind the scenes" in our lives, while all the time he is just waiting for us to realize he has never given up control. I think we might all just have those times in life when we think God has somehow stepped away from the control panel - like he has taken leave of watching over us for a while and in the evolving time between his "leaving the control center" and now we can see all of life just taking on a totally "out of control" spin. As Tozer put it, it isn't him being "out of control" as much as him wanting us to realize he "is in control".

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. (Romans 8:20 VOICE)

The passage of time, especially when things seem to be spinning out of control, can be a real issue for some of us.  In those "spaces of time" between feeling like things are "in control" and then realizing we are "spinning" again, we often begin a process some liken to panicking.  Why?  We haven't fully learned who it is that is really in control of our lives.  As some may imagine, there are time when the spinning out of control really is meant to reveal just how much WE have been trying to control things.  At other times, it may be that God is simply trying to reveal to us that we can trust him with our lives - he has us under his wings, but we don't fully accept that yet.

It seems to me that both lessons are difficult to learn.  Whether we are learning to give up the "right" to be in control of our lives, or we are laying hold of what it means to fully place our trust in God's control, both are sometimes harder to learn than almost any other lesson in life.  Yet, both lessons are truly based in the same thing - trust.  Who is it we will trust to "run our lives" - to determine the "outcome"?  Holding fast to our own desire to be in control is simply saying we cannot trust anything outside of our own ability. I don't know how that has worked in your life, but I can speak for myself on that matter - I don't have all the ability I need in life! There are just things I cannot see, don't understand, and really haven't any knowledge about.  To trust in my ability to get through those things, figuring them out on my own, is like me trying to build a ship which would actually stay afloat in the high seas!

I might be able to lash together a small raft to take me down a lazy river somewhere, but I could no sooner build a sea-worthy ship than I could build an airplane!  There are just some things I need to leave to those who actually know the aero-dynamics of flight, or the buoyancy of a vessel in water.  There are also things in life which I know a "little bit" about, but I am not an expert.  I can get by on what I know, but when I rely upon someone who knows it better than I do even after all this time of "learning", it seems to get done easier, faster, and with better outcomes!  Sometimes the greatest sense of "being in control" is when I don't resist the control another rightfully should have!  Just sayin....