I readily admit that I like to be in control of my life. Who doesn’t? I like my life to be orderly and to go as planned. Generally my life goes the way I want it to. When I push a certain button on the computer, it turns on. When I type on the keyboard and hit an “s” key, the letter “s” shows up. Tom and I decide together where to go and when and what we will do when we get there. I feel in control.
Until I don’t. I push the on button for the computer and nothing happens. A place we planned to go contacts us and tells us we are not needed. Something we planned to see is closed for the day. Our family needs us in Ohio on a particular day. I can feel out of control and, frankly, it can make me a little cranky.
But whoever said that we would be able to control our lives? There are so many circumstances outside our control: sickness, death, the needs of others, things that break. If we are wise, we realize that being in control is only an illusion, a facade that we put on so we can fool ourselves into feeling strong.
As Christians, we are supposed to let God be in control of our lives, but this is a very hard thing to do. After all, God can’t do as good a job managing my life as I can. And, while I’m at it, I might even think I could do a better job running things than God does.
Or maybe I need to get over myself and the idea that I am in control. Maybe I need to let go and let God be in charge for a change. I think many of us – especially those of us who like to be in control – might be happier if we could let go of that need and go with God’s flow.
Paul was a person who liked to be in control. But in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 he wrote, “But Christ said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I’m not sure I will ever learn to delight in weaknesses or insults, but I know I can practice letting God be in control of my life. And if, somehow, Christ’s power can be seen in my weakness, then I will be happy to be the instrument of God.