Fear seems rampant in today’s culture with the recent pandemic, current riots and eruptions of violence in major cities. The desire to control and be independent is a natural one, and fear magnifies that urge to control—or at least to try. The recent crises in our nation and the sudden and unexpected death of a family member only served to remind me of the limits of our control.
What do you do when you feel out of control? Some withdraw in despair and hopelessness, while others become more determined to double their efforts to control through their own initiative. My tendency is to organize! Thus, I find myself reorganizing my pantry and cleaning out my closets, files and such in an effort to regain a sense of control. But the bottom line is there are things in life over which WE HAVE NO CONTROL. In those times, I find myself often praying this adapted version of the Serenity Prayer: “Lord, grant me clarity and courage to change what I can change and to trust You by faith with what I cannot.”
Throughout the Bible we are reminded of God’s sovereignty and of His ultimate authority over all things whether it be to prevent or use for good the negative circumstances that touch our lives. And just as our control is limited, so is our vision and our need to trust by faith in His power and loving care. Doing so enables us to avoid the pit of self-pity and victimization, which are evil, devoid of faith, and slander God.
In the wake of suffering that most will never experience, Job refused to accept the judgment of his "friends" and maintained his commitment to God. But he demanded to know why he was suffering so. God’s response was not to tell him ‘why’ but rather to remind Job that He was sovereign! (Job 41-42) The result was a humble Job who grew in his knowledge of God by recognizing and exalting His sovereignty (Job 42). It is as we acknowledge our lack of control and trust Him that we find intimacy with our heavenly Father who is sovereign and always in control.
O’ Lord, In times when evil seems to rule,
And sin appears in control,
Remind us of Your sovereignty,
Of Your ultimate protection of our soul.
Bring to our minds Your promised Word
Renew our faith in You,
To work for good in every trial,
Fulfilling that which You have deemed true.
Strengthen us by Your Spirit’s power
When by faith we seek Your face
Trusting You for every need,
Abiding in Your love and grace.
© 2015, Doris Haver Rouse
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