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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Content or Control Freak?

I am coming to realize that it is hard to be both content and a control freak at the same time.  People who have a high need to control everything in their lives tend to find contentment just a wee bit elusive.  Okay, more than a wee bit perhaps.

I have generally thought of myself as the laid-back, non-controlling type.  When control is mentioned in sermons I have tended to pat myself on the back and say, 'Well at least that's one area that I don't struggle in!  This is for all those controlling types out there.'  Oh, how wrong I have been!

Because even in my laid-back personality - my laissez-faire, anything goes, can't ruffle my feathers attitude - even beneath all these layers is a deep-seated need to control.  I just didn't realize it.  But sure enough, when I lose my temper, and I wonder why, I discover it is the need to control driving my loss of self-control.  When I find myself tense and annoyed, underlying this is a need to control.  When I cannot laugh or smile it is often because I am wishing I were in control and failing to recognize the One Who is always in control - whether I am aware of Him or not.

How can I - who has a soapbox regarding contentment - have such issues?  How can I, who revel in the wonderful doctrine of the sovereignty of God, still fail to acknowledge Him in the day to day mundane issues of life?  How can I?

It is so easy to forget.  It is so easy to wander into the illusion that I have control.  When I falter and find myself in that place I become agitated.  Worried.  Upset.  Angry.  Fearful.  Uncertain.  Uneasy.  Hopeless.  Discouraged.  Burdened.  Weary.

And none of these are the destinations the Lover of my soul has laid out for me.  His paths are along verdant pastures.  His ways are known only to me one step at a time.  His hand is before me, His voice calls me to follow and trust.  To lay these burdens down.  To stop...
                                Stop.

Stop.
Wait.
Trust.
Hope.

Listen to His voice.  Follow His lead.  Walk with Him.  See His goodness in the land of the living.  Know He is there.

He tells me not to fear.  That He is certain.  That His yoke is easy, that His burden is light.
He tells me that there is rest for the weary - for those who come to Him.  He tells me to cast my burdens on Him.

All that is left for me to do is to obey and follow.

Lord, I lay my burdens down.  I come to You as one who has tried to control and forgotten to give You the rightful place.  I haven't trusted You to be for me the strength I need in the day-to-day trials.  I haven't believed Your goodness will surround me on every side!
I haven't trusted You to take me where You will.
I have sought to control what hasn't been mine to control.
I have been discontent and upset when Your peace was mine to receive.
I haven't opened my heart to submit to Your will.
Instead I have been fretful and fearful and have taken on burdens that were never mine to bear.
Forgive me, I ask.
And renew me with joy in Your presence.
Help me to walk with You - to know You, to love You, to hold no idol or illusion in Your place.  Even the illusion of control.
In the name of Jesus, Who died to grant me freedom from the burden of control, I pray these things.
Amen.

Linked at Only a Breath

4 comments:

  1. How true. What is it about us women that make us want to be in charge of everything? I just found myself correcting my husband again while he was on the phone. Like he can't even talk on the phone without my guidance. Like when Rebekah dressed up her younger son in the older son's clothes in order to get the blessing that God told her before they were born would be his; and like James' and John's mom telling Jesus where to seat her boy in his kingdom; we are forever telling everyone else, including God, what to do. No wonder He tells us to be still and know that He is God.

    Martha, Martha, (Sarah, Sarah, Jackie, Jackie), you are worried and upset about many things, but only one this is needed, Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41-42
    Jackie Kenney

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    1. Thank you for this Jackie... I need to hear it over and over!

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  2. WOW! You know me, do you? This is so me and I am grateful to have come by for I needed this, and am encouraged by your words of truth. I found the picture of your little one drew me in for her look is so much of 'discontent' and has that pouty look like I can get!! Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Linda. Someday may we be able to say with Paul, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance." Until then, we journey forward, Bible in hand and hope in His goodness, knowing He will bring us to green pastures and restore our souls.

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