As humans, we have a tendency that is stronger than we think, to want to be in control. Some are definitely more expressive about it than others and so they’re called, “control freaks”. But I would probably say that every one of us has come to a place where things just did not play out how we thought it would, and our expression – inner or outer – was one of, “wait what?” Or we even tried to calculate every single scenario in order for a situation to play out how WE thought it should…then it didn’t.
As contradicting as this sounds to my own humanity, I believe there is a blessing in losing control. I was in Mexico the past 2 weeks and I had the opportunity to go to Mt. Chipinque (pronounced CHEE-PEENG-KEH). I had traveled this mountain with two marathon runners back in August, so you could imagine they beat me up with their pace. But this time, I was alone; so I paced myself more, being that it was also 40 degrees colder and raining. Unexpectedly, I fell right on my back. Twice. Once on a rocky trail and the other on a muddy slope.
Even though I was intentionally mindful of my footing the whole time, I still fell under careful conditions. How could this be? Because there were some factors that were simply out of my control. I could have gone back to where I fell and started kicking the rocks and mountainside for “doing such a thing” to me. But, I was as mindful as I could have been. That was the only thing I could really measure: my mindset about it. It dawned on me quite quickly that I was becoming more cautious of where I placed my feet, but this time, it felt different. I was beginning to doubt where I placed my feet. You may be more bold than I am after those back-to-back falls, but I even began to lose some enjoyment running up the mountain – simply because I had fallen.
I believe a lot of people find themselves here throughout their lives, where one mistake dramatically reduces their capacity to take risks, especially their joy in the journey.
Did you know Jesus anticipates our mistakes? Past, present, and future. He anticipates our frustration with the “unexpected” outcome, too; taking into consideration the sincerity of our hearts in the circumstance (Proverbs 21:2).
Those three truths are mind-boggling to me.
He heartily cheers for our passionate devotion and dearly examines our response when things get out of hand.
Whose hand? Our hand.
If I truly want my life to be His life in me, I believe I must pray that if something is not in His hands, I pray that it gets out of my hands. One way or another. One good friend of mine was talking to me about things he believed God wanted to do for his life, and he said these impacting words, “whether I grab it, I cling to it, I fall on it, or I die on it. I’ll get it somehow.” His tenacity was so inspiring to me because it allowed me to recognize once more that if things get out of hand, or if life gets “out of control”, the blessing is that it is out of MY control.
What strikes me in such a “counter-intuitive” manner, which is really a revelatory manner, is that I get to volunteer myself every single day for things to be out of my control. I just chuckled at writing that statement, because it is spiritually humorous and humorously spiritual. It is not meant for my humanity to really register. It is biblically called: casting my cares (or anxieties). It is first mentioned in Psalm 55:22 and then in 1 Peter 5:7. But the premise is, that we exchange our cares for God’s cares.
The Old Testament reference reads in the New Living Translation:
Give your [cares] to the Lord,
and He will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. – Psalm 55:22
Is God contradicting Himself when we fall? Not at all. Paul talks about that in Romans 5, 6 and 9. For while He will not permit His people to slip and fall – His people permit themselves. At the root of this cause, I believe, is the fact that we do not exchange our cares for God’s cares. What does that mean? The first word for cares actually contains the root word for “distributions” and “distractions”, while the second one contains the root word for “forethought” and “interest”. Therefore, we can read it this way, “Give your [distractions] to the Lord, and He will take [forethought] of you.” I would contend that when we free ourselves from these unhealthy distractions, we avail ourselves to take hold of HIS forethought and interest of us. One is scattered, while the other is focused. What a bargain. Yet, sometimes, it is quite an assignment to do, because we tend to really care about certain things in our lives. Although, if I truly keep it in biblical perspective, I can have peace if something “gets out of control”, because I can exchange my anxiety about it, for God’s interest in me.
Don’t be afraid, there is a blessing when you lose control.
First word for care: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3307&t=KJV
Second word for care: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3199&t=KJV