Monday, April 12, 2010

Let Go and Let God--Trust in Letting God Have Control

Women of Faith:

Do you ever feel like your life is spinning out of control? Like no matter what you do, things aren’t going to go your way? Like you just want to make the world stop and go back to a simpler time, a simpler place, or a place from the past?

I felt that way last week when my computer decided to catch a “virus.” Like no matter what I did, or how organized I had tried to be, something or someone was out to get me, through my computer screen or lack of one, trying to reach out and pull me down or under. Obviously my computer had gotten too much control in my life.

So how did I regain control? I didn’t. I said one very long prayer, and remembered the postcard I have in my kitchen… “Good morning Charlotte, This is God, and I will be handling all of your problems today, I will not need your help. So relax and have a great day!” And I gave God control, I placed my trust in God.

I decided maybe this was God’s way of telling me I wasn’t supposed to work all of Easter weekend (the repairman had the weekend off). I gave up the computer and trusted that God would give the repairman the knowledge and tools to help fix it (he did). And I trusted that God would take care of it in the right time and give me the right tools (like an extra laptop, and backups) to meet the April 15 deadline in my schedule.

Now I am sure some of you are saying, “that might work for you, but not for me.” Or, “my problem won’t get fixed by a repairman.” Or, “my problem is a lot bigger than technology problems.” You could be right: your problem could be a parent who is ill; a child who is misbehaving; a husband who doesn’t help out around the house or with the kids; or that a friend or family member has died and left you grieving. So, have we asked God? Did I pray today? Did I give Him control, and listen to His advice?

None of these problems are as easy to fix as taking a computer to a repairman. But all of these problems are out of our control. We can’t heal our parents, change our children or our spouses, or bring back our best friends, anymore than I could “immediately” fix my computer and continue to work.

But we can all “let go and let God.” We can let him calm us (as he did me that day), guide us, comfort us, or give us peace. We can ask his blessings on repairmen and doctors, on children, spouses and parents. And we can ask for forgiveness and understanding for the people in our lives that don’t know or want to seek God. Most importantly we can ask God to help our own attitudes, to help us change, to give us perseverance, to help us change ourselves. The only thing we really have any control over is our self, our attitude, the way we handle a problem. Everyone else, and everything else is in God’s control.

The apostles must have felt some of these same feelings after Christ’s death and resurrection. They were afraid of persecution, they felt abandoned, and they were so scared without their best friend that they hid behind a locked door.

They did not want to believe in Jesus’ presence or give Him control. Thomas was very bold about doubting Christ’s presence and asked for proof that he was really the same Jesus who had died on the cross.

Thomas’ response was similar to ours when someone tells us to “trust” that God is present in our life: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. …. Jesus replied to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Jn 20:19-31

That “locked door” represents our hearts. Hearts which must “open” so God can get in, so He can help change us. But we must give up control, we must give up our selfishness, so that God can “get in, and have control.” Our sufferings, our needs, are given to us, so that we can share Christ’s sufferings on the cross with Him. He didn’t take control and take Himself down from the cross, He gave God control and let Himself suffer so that we could live.

My Lord and My God! Don’t let me be a “doubting Thomas” asking for proof of you in my life, because “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Thank you for reminders and signs that you are in my life. Thank you for computer repairmen and deadlines which give closure. Help me to believe without seeing; to trust without touching; and to always give you control. Thank you for giving me support, for wrapping your arms around me when I am hurting, and for calming my fears. Give me appreciation for the people in my life who reflect your love and who remind me of your healing power. Amen.

Let Go and Let God,

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