I Don’t Have to Be In Control (So I Should Stop Trying, Right Now)
I am secretly a control freak. I can admit that, right? And it’s not in a way that seeks to dominate anyone, not at all, but my issue with control stems from wanting to be a good leader, wanting to know what’s going on, wanting to be in control of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and wanting to make sure the perception of me is good. And so, to placate this need for control, I sometimes can people please. And, when I find the situation is unmanageable, I withdraw, and not in the way that Jesus did. If there is a mess, I pretend it doesn’t exist, and let it continue to pile up (Case in point, and Lord, help me, my Garage is a mess: it still has boxes unpacked from when we moved 4 years ago in April 2019, there’s a list of things I want to do, toys that need to be shipped out or sold, and things that need to be put together, but there’s no time to do any of it, because to start one project would require more work than I can mentally handle all at once).
I also want to help everyone. Seriously. We have people who come and ask for help, and, at times, the help isn’t what they need, and I have to wrestle with that two letter word “no.” I have to be like Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate helping the lame man “Silver and Gold, I don’t have, but in the name of Jesus of Nazareth be healed.” And I have to be disappointed and heart sick when people don’t want to be healed, but actually want to stay in their mess, because, like me, they’re dealing with their own control issues. I have to watch, as what I say comes to pass with people I’ve counseled, things I warned them would happen after giving them biblical counsel. And I have to avoid any form of “I told you so.”
And so, I go home to my chaos of four boys under 12, and bark orders, but withdraw in to “me time,” (I’m getting better at not doing this), ignoring the hundreds of small projects that would destroy my big mess. Often, I’m overwhelmed, and I feel less than able in anything, if that term makes sense. I don’t see the forest for the trees, and know that I’m not the failure I think I am, that God is working and moving in my family and ministries, that I’m not failing, and have to stop letting (relatively) small messes determine my worth in Christ. I don’t have to be in control. You don’t either. Christ is the King. We have to submit. We have to follow. We have to listen. We have to wait on Him. I want to model every aspect of my life on His, and so I need to start with surrender. It is then the Holy Spirit does His work. I can’t. but Jesus can.
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.