In our conversation, she told me something that surprised me. “For the first time in my life,” she said, “I realized I am not in control.”
I thought to myself, “You just realized that now?”
How often don’t we all fall into the delusion of control?
You are the one who studied hard in school. You are the one who earned that promotion. You chose your husband. You planned your retirement. You are in control of your life. You control your own destiny.
By nature, we all want to be in control. Control is like a security blanket. It makes us feel safe and warm.
Control, however, is an illusion. The mirage of control disappears when the doctor utters those fateful words: “It’s cancer.” The mirage of control disappears when your best friend dies in a car accident, when you lose your job and then your home, when flood waters or fire destroy everything you own.
You are not in control of what happens to you or around you. That is one of the great realizations of life.
With that realization, however, comes stress. With that realization, comes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, no matter how well you plan, disaster can strike at any moment.
But here’s the thing: It’s good you aren’t in control. No offense, but you would just mess it up anyway. So would I. As sinful human beings we tend to make a mess of our lives and our world. Thankfully, we are not in control.
And that, my friends, is the greatest realization of all: God is in control. Though at times it seems like he’s not – though at times our eyes gaze upon a world seemingly out of control – our God reigns. He controls all things. He controls all of history. And he controls it for our good.
God controlled all of history to bring his Son, Jesus, into the world to be our Savior. On a dark Friday, two thousand years ago, it seemed like God had lost control as his Son hung helplessly dying on a cross. But it was all under control. It was all a part of God’s plan to win for us forgiveness and heaven.
In the same way, when your life feels seemingly out of control, find comfort and peace in knowing that God is in control. He has plans for you – “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He is working all of things for your good.
You are not in control of what happens to you or around you. Accept it. The only thing you can really control is how you react to what happens to you. You do have control of your own feelings and actions.
So stop stressing. Stop worrying. Stop trying to control things you can’t control. Trust God. Trust that he is in control. He is your security blanket. Let go and let God.