By: Liz Giertz
Some days I enjoy the short-lived illusion of reigning supreme over my little slice of life.
But in general, as an Army wife, I’ve come to the conclusion that most things are way beyond my control.
The Army dictates when and where we move, what my husband’s job will be, if he will get to keep it, and if he will be selected for the next promotion. The mission determines when we will be authorized to take a family vacation and when his life may be put in danger with another deployment.
Truth is that most of us, Army or otherwise, have very little real authority in our own lives. We face situations each day that leave us feeling helpless.
Other people choose to say and do things that are hurtful.
Children throw temper tantrums at the most inopportune times.
Cutbacks and a poor economy cost people jobs and pensions.
Fires and storms destroy homes.
Accidents cause delays and take lives.
Illnesses plague loved ones.
Infertility and miscarriage leave longing arms empty.
No matter how out of my control things may seem, I know that nothing is out of God’s control.
Every detail of my life, no matter how great or small, falls under His dominion.
Our circumstances are tools that God uses to shape and mold us into His image. When faced with trials and the chastening of The Lord it may feel painful at the time, but it produces the fruit of righteousness if we will allow ourselves to be trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).
He has given us free will in responding to our circumstances. Our reactions and responses are choices within our control. His hope is that we will choose rightly.
Anger or grace when provoked?
Fear or faith for His provision when our income doesn’t match our desires?
Disappointment or hope of eternal resurrection when faced with death?
Turn my back on Him or lean into His love for me?
Worry about my situation or expect His peace to fill me as I pray and give thanks?
Unfortunately, when I allow my emotions to determine my reactions to life situations, I usually end up feeling even more out of control. All too frequently, I choose poorly. My flesh is prone to anger, selfishness, doubt, insecurity, and worry.
So, the only way to choose rightly is to relinquish all vestiges of control over my responses to the power and authority of the Holy Spirit who lives and longs to reign in me.
We know that as believers in Christ, we have been set free from the sway of sin (Romans 6:7) and not even death has dominion over us (Romans 6:9). Because of our faith, God has given us His Spirit to live inside us (Romans 8:11). That Spirit frees us when we willingly submit ourselves to it (Galatians 5:18).
The Spirit steers me toward grace, mercy, generosity, faith, peace, and love.
The more authority we give the Holy Spirit over our flesh, the more in control of our responses we feel.
Instead of trying to regulate all the details of our lives, in Paul’s first letter to Peter, he exhorts us to pass all our cares off on to God, to submit to His authority, and live confidently because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Because we know God loves us, we will live courageously at peace, well-pleased that He is in control and we are not.
Word of the Day: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for all the times when I have wanted to be in control. Thank You no matter how far out of my control this life may become, You are always ready to guide me toward hope and prosperity. May I live according to your divine plan and always glorify you in my responses to my circumstances. Amen.