I don’t really think of myself as a control freak. I’m usually completely unorganized and just barely make it through my day by the skin of my teeth. I do well when I make lists, but I’m also quite the rebel and don’t like making lists because they make me feel smothered. I know that seems stupid. The best way to conquer being unorganized is to get organized, but apparently I enjoy self sabotage more than I enjoy having it all together.
I mean, having a schedule feels kinda rigid sometimes. And I don’t like rigid. I don’t like having somewhere to be all the time. I like flexibility. I like to think of myself as a free soul, flowing wherever and whenever, but if I really look at that honestly, I’m not a free flow-er. I am a total control freak.
I recently listened to a message by a pastor at a church here in town. The message was excellent, but one thing he said particularly caught my attention.
Faith and control cannot walk together.
I’ve heard something similar to that before, but it was more like faith and fear don’t go together. That was always kind of a duh thing, you know. I mean, obviously if I’m letting myself be driven by fear then I can’t really say I’m operating in faith.
But to think of it, not as fear, but as control. Now that made me stop. What’s control all about anyway? It’s having a desired outcome and doing whatever you can to make it happen. And so I started thinking about control and fear and how they play off each other. Most of the time, the whole reason I strive to have control of a situation is because I’m fearful of it going sideways. I feel like if I can control a situation, I have a say in what happens, whereas if I have to have release control, I’m putting my trust in somebody else to bring forth a desirable outcome.
When I put my trust in God, ultimately I know that His plan and mine aren’t always going to line up. And while His plans are always better in the end, I know that getting from A to Z isn’t always easy or fun. In fact, sometimes it’s freaking hard. And so I struggle with waiting on God, struggling with trusting in Him, struggle to say at the helm of the ship.
But you can’t struggle to stay in control of a situation and still call it faith. At some point, I have to stop struggling and believe that God is good. That He loves me. That He can be trusted with all the big pieces and the little pieces of my life. That He is all light and no dark. Only good.
That’s something else the pastor said…
Faith is based on who God is – not on what He does or what He allows.
Difficult circumstances don’t change the character of God. And I know that doesn’t make having faith in the face of a scary diagnosis or a financial crisis or a crumbling marriage any easier. Even with faith, difficult circumstances are still…well, difficult. But we can’t put our trust in our health or our money or our relationships.
No, we put our trust in the God of the Universe because regardless of what happens around us, it doesn’t change who dwells in us. It doesn’t change who He is.
He can be trusted. He really can.
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God.”My times are in Your hand.-Psalm 31:14, 15a
P.S. If you wanted to listen to the message I mentioned, click here.