Saturday, December 27, 2014

I am Not in Control

I received an iMessage the other day that may be common in the world we live in but one that no father wants to get from his daughter. “My school’s on lockdown. A convict is on the loose and has been seen on our campus.” My daughter goes to school over 500 miles away in that vast wilderness called “Texas.” Of course, there was nothing I could do to protect her, so I began to pray, but I was still trying to figure out what I could do. Maybe I could…no, that wouldn’t work…Maybe I should…no, that is impractical…Maybe I will…seriously, get ahold of yourself – if you are dad, you know how your emotions can spiral a bit out of control when it comes to protecting your children.

That is when God calmed my heart and reminded me of something He has been trying to teach me lately: I am not in control. This reminded me a passage of Scripture.
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. [12] "Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. [13] "Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:11-13, NASB)
Yes, I am not in control. Why is this idea such an astonishing concept for me to grasp? I am not in control – never have been; never will be. I cannot control whether my daughter will be harmed when she is 500 miles away from me and I cannot control if she will be harmed if she is living in the same town I live in. I am not in control.
In that moment of praying, God gently reminded me of all the things in which I am not in control. I have been at my current church for just over five months and have been to five funerals, three of which I have presided over. I have no control who dies and when. My wife had to have another back surgery this month. While I wish I could take the pain from her and heal her, I have no control over her pain or her healing. For me, the realization that I am not in control is not exactly what I wanted to hear but I am not even in control of what God wants to teach me! (Can you imagine!?)
God did not leave me there, though. In addition to reminding me that I am not in control, He reminded me that HE is – And He always has been! God being in control means that my daughter was not left in the hands of an escaped convict; she was in the hands of the Perfect Father, our Abba – and she always has been! God controlling all things means that my wife is not in left the hands of a fallible surgeon; She is in the hands of the Great Physician who never makes a mistake and uses our weakness for his strength (2 Cor. 12:10) – and she always has been! God being in control means that He will use what He wants to teach me what He wants at the exact time He wants to teach it to me. Frankly, it is humbling, but I could use some humbling on a regular basis to remind me I serve a Sovereign Father who loves me deeply by reminding me I am not in control.

My daughter was on lockdown for about five hours and then, when it was safe, all the students were released. So she and eleven of her friends went to get pizza – college students…always eating. She was safe and I praised God, not just because my daughter was safe, although that was a major praise, but I praised God because of who God is. The Sovereignty of our God means that He can do what He wants, teach me what He wants, use what He wants, to accomplish what He wants. Like 1 Chronicles 29:13 says, “Therefore”, because You are in COMPLETE control of ALL things, “we thank You and praise Your glorious name.” Thank You, Lord, that I am not in control.