March 2021 Featured Article
There are two things you should know about me to understand how I’m handling recent events. First, I’m a fixer. If I see a problem, I want to fix it. My mind will dwell on it until I can find some solution. Second, I’m a planner. I enjoy the anticipation of plans and the execution of them. I even like the problem solving that comes along during the process.
As you can imagine, this past year has been rough on me. I can’t fix this. There’s illness, political stress, financial burdens, mental anxiety, vaccines, distance learning, quarantine, lockdowns, masks and a host of other difficulties in the world today – and I can’t fix any of them. I see the problems, but no matter how hard I try to come up with a solution, I can’t. Even if I had a brilliant idea, I’m not in a place of any kind of authority to put it into action.
This year has seen my plans go up in smoke over and over again as well. Those that actually happen are modified so much that they barely look anything like my original idea. I’m hesitant to make plans, because I know that at any moment life could shift once again. Sometimes I feel almost lost, because there should be something I am planning – a vacation or church activities or a gathering. Instead, there’s nothing.
What both of these traits boil down to though, is that I like to be in control. I might say that I trust God, but I cling tightly with both hands to my plans, and I jump in to fix any problems that might be in the lives of my family and friends.
Recently our pastor asked us to think about something that looked good, but in the end produced problems. I told my family that I always think control is good. If I can be the one in charge, then everything will go the way it’s supposed to go. What I end up with is worry, stress, and anxiety. If things don’t go according to my plan, if I can’t fix it, then everything will crumble. It puts pressure on me to be perfect – or at least to project perfection.
Through this situation, God is slowly prying my fingers off of my life, and allowing me to relax in His sovereignty. I can’t fix it, but He can. My plans might fail, but His never do. He can do exceedingly, abundantly beyond anything we can even imagine. He is the sovereign, Almighty God, King of Creation – and I am a flawed, sinful, human (beloved, yes, but still flawed and sinful). How can I not trust Him, yet still trust my own judgement which I know can be faulty?
I’ve still got a long way to go. I try to take the burdens of the world on my own shoulders. God is teaching me to leave it in His more-than-capable hands, and just as importantly, not try to take those burdens back out of His hands after I’ve placed them there. Someday I may look back and wonder why I wasted so much time and energy stressing about things which I had no control over. Then I’ll know that I fully trust God the way I ought.