Control, Coronavirus, and Other Complications of Life

In these day when our news, our social media, and our lives are consumed with the Coronavirus, one thing is painfully clear…

WE ARE NOT AS IN CONTROL AS WE WANT TO BE.

We never have been. Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, we have done whatever we could to subjugate and eradicate the feeling of not being in control. And we’re still doing that.

Some try to convince themselves that the government will get control of this. Others repeatedly tell themselves that God is in control of this. And others militantly follow social distancing plans and hand washing procedures to stay in control of this. These are all good things, but they still fall short of putting us at ease and quenching our thirst for control.

 

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO FEEL LIKE WE HAVE CONTROL?

  • We want to feel in control to keep our fear at bay. There’s a lot of fear out there. Health fear. Economic fear. Scholastic fear. Fear is swelling because we feel we can’t control these things.
  • We want to feel in control because we lack trust. We don’t trust our government to make the right calls at the right time. We don’t trust others to do what they should do to keep their distance, or to keep food on the shelves, or to keep helping when we’re in need. Then we don’t trust God to intervene as we hope…despite what we might profess.
  • We want to feel in control, because it helps us maintain a sense of self importance. We want to feel that we’re different and special. But we feel out of control when we realize we’re no different from everyone else.

 

In one way or another, there’s a bit of control freak in all of us. But here’s the thing…

WE ARE NEVER IN COMPLETE CONTROL!

There will always be things we can’t control. It’s a given in life. The quality of our life is not dependent on keeping control of everything, but rather in how we respond to the things we can’t control.

  • It’s not about making fear go away, but rather about going on in the face of fear.
  • It’s not about trusting someone to fix the problem, but rather trusting someone in the midst of the problem.
  • It’s not about being above everyone else, but rather being in it with everyone else.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN WE’RE NOT IN CONTROL.

Even Christians have control issues at times, but we don’t need to strive for control, because…

  • In the face of fear, we’re told…“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV.
  • In the face of mistrust, we’re told…“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5 ESV.
  • In the face of self-importance, we’re told…“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Matthew 23:11-12 ESV.

Like the rapids in a white water rafting trip, the Coronavirus is part of the trip down stream. It may raise our adrenaline, but we don’t have to be in control of the rapids. We just need to stay in the boat and listen to our guide.

In times of trials, you may not be able to control anything else, but you can control to whom you listen. Whether you’re struggling for control over work, marriage, children,  finances, or pandemics, the questions is still the same…to whom is your heart listening?

Numbers 14 – Trading “I Remember” for “I Can’t Wait to See”

I was working in the oil fields of West Texas when God called me into full time ministry. After some preparation, I moved my wife and two small children to Ft. Worth, TX and began my seminary education.

At first, it was exciting. But the new eventually wore off when the demands of graduate school kicked in. There were mountains of books to read, a constant demand for papers to write, and tedious projects to complete. All of this (along with holding down a job) increased the stress on my marriage and family. Too little time, too little money, and too many expectations began to wear on us.

I found myself thinking, “I miss the good old days.” Graduation was in sight, but this nagging thought kept getting louder. Others around us called it quits and went back home. But we stuck it out, and it turned out to be one of the best things we’ve ever done.

So I can relate to Numbers chapter 14, and the feeling of being in that difficult in-between spot. God’s people were not in slavery, but they still were not in the Promise Land. God was asking the Israelites to do something that required a lot of risk. Consequently, they longed for what was behind them, rather than what was ahead of them.

We must be willing to follow God and step into the freedom of the unknown, rather than retreat to the bondage of the comfortable. The key to is believing God is good (Psalm 100:5) and brings all His power to bear for one purpose..our good. If we believe this, we will launch into the risky unknown, knowing that no matter what happens, it will be better than the past.

Let’s trade in our “I remember” for “I can’t wait to see.”

How to Waste Your Marriage…and Your Life

It’s so easy to waste your marriage on things that don’t benefit you or your spouse. The problem is, you often don’t realize it until it’s too late. So below are 5 contributors to a wasted marriage that you need to watch for. (To help you remember them, they’re form the acronym W.A.S.T.E.)

Read moreHow to Waste Your Marriage…and Your Life