Who’s In Control?

Earthquakes rattle California.

Tropical storm batters New Orleans.

It’s in these times we realize that we aren’t in control. It scares us. We wonder sometimes what’s going on.

On a personal level, things happen in our lives that we don’t plan. Unexpected expenses drain our budget. We receive a bad report from the doctor.  These things remind us that we aren’t in control like we think we are.

Some call it fate. Some say “that’s just life”.

If you’re like me, you like being in control and planning things for expected results. The unexpected stuff throws me many times and I stress out.

Drama at work drains me. I don’t understand why people can’t just do what they are supposed to do.

Perhaps the thing that stresses me the most is finances. There never seems to be enough money to do everything that we need to do. Most people don’t have room in their budget for another bill to pay. That’s when it throws us when the unexpected happens.

I have heard it all of my life that God is in control. I believe that He is but sometimes my anxieties refuse to feel good about that when the unexpected happens.

I’d like to tell you that I never worry and I trust God during these times without question but the reality is that I fail miserably at this many times. I don’t want to feel this way. I want to have complete trust that God is in control.

The best way that I calm myself is force my mind to recall how God has gotten me through things in the past. He’s done it before and kept me through things so I should feel good that He can do it again.

When Jesus was in the boat on the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 8:23-27 with the disciples and the storms blew in and was tossing the waves against the ship, the disciples freaked out. This is funny because they had seen Jesus perform miracles before and here they were filled with anxiety about the storm. It was probably in their mind that even though Jesus has done other miracles that maybe this was something he could not do. This was a new problem so maybe he couldn’t do anything about it. Of course, Jesus spoke to the storm and the weather obeyed him and became calm again. I can only imagine how silly the disciples felt. Okay, so why were we so worried about?

That’s how silly I usually feel after I am on the other side of a situation. It’s easy to have faith after you’ve been through something than when you are in the middle of a situation you can’t control.

So why is it so hard to trust God?

I think it’s because it’s so easy to fall back into thinking that we are in control again. We get too comfortable depending on ourselves and what we can do. When we have savings in our bank account or when we have a job we feel like we’ve got this now. It’s almost like we’re saying “Thanks God but I think I got this now.”

Unfortunately, the only way we develop faith is when we go through something and our faith is tested. Singing worship songs doesn’t do it. It’s when we are in the middle of the fire and we are scared that we see how strong our faith is.

It’s hard not to get rocked when unexpected things hit our lives but it’s good to know that God is in control and whatever happens, He will help us to get through it whether we are full of faith or scared to death.

We may not be able to control what happens to us be we can control how we respond to what happens.  I don’t think any of us likes to feel that we aren’t in control so it’s probably a good thing to know someone who is in control and put our trust in Him.  It’s not easy and it’s not always spiritual but it can ground us and keep us calm during the troubled times in our daily lives.

Peace is the result of retraining  your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. 

Wayne W. Dyer

Where Is God When…?

bad thingsThere is no doubt we have all asked some form of this question in our life.

God doesn’t spare us just because we are believers.

It’s very hard to believe when things are going wrong and you are hurting.

Just because we do good deeds doesn’t guarantee a God will “pay us back” in times of trouble. He said to lay up your treasures in Heaven.  In Matthew 6:19-20 He tells us we should store our treasures in heaven and not on Earth.  While that is well and fine for eternity, sometimes we would like Him to withdraw a little of that when we are going through the bad times in our lives.  When a hurricane blows away our home or when our loved one is diagnosed with cancer.

Where is God?

That is a question we all ask during these times.  It is difficult to see Him in the bad times.  He says that He never leaves us or forsakes us but He can certainly be quiet.  It would seem that He is playing some kind of cosmic game of hide and seek.  It can be very annoying to serve God during these times.  He is apparently doing something for our purpose.  He never leaves us but at times He is silent. Not because He’s playing some game of hide and seek with us but to help us in some way.

Ever notice that the only time people seem to come together is when disaster strikes? Why does it take that for us to come together?

Why is it that God heals some people while He allows others to die? Why does He allow destruction to hit some people and not others? Those are some heavy questions and when you are going through those seemingly unfair times you don’t feel much like singing those cute praise and worship songs. You want to fuss and demand answers.

I won’t sugar coat this for you. God seems cruel sometimes. The problem is that no one can answer for why God does what He does. That’s kinda why He’s God. He does what He does for His own reasons. He doesn’t owe us an explanation and we hate that. We can’t fully understand God’s plans or His ways.

We lose sight of the fact that this world is not the end. The Bible says

“We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”

Yes, but I’m dealing with something here on Earth right now today!

I would like to say that I stay cool and calm when facing the bad things that happen in my life.  It would be nice to be the example of calm and patience with my hands in a praying position during these times but I’m not.  I often fuss and complain to God about them.  I’m doing better in some situations but I have, in no way, mastered it yet.  I have heard people talk about the “patience of Job” when everything was going against him but have you ever read the Book of Job?  He may have been patient in that he continued to trust God but the man did complain and fuss about the situation.  God even called him out on it in Chapter 38 of Job.  God kind of puts Job in his place.

So, it doesn’t matter how good of a Christian you think you are or how many people is on your prayer chain.  God isn’t impressed by that.  No one can give you and answer as to why God goes silent sometimes when bad things happen to us.  It isn’t about being spiritual or speaking in tongues or being any kind of faith superstar.  The important thing is for us to keep our focus and be faithful.  Really, there isn’t much of a choice.  It’s okay to be frustrated and upset.  God understands that but we have to deal with whatever is allowed to happen to us.

There is a God and we aren’t Him.  He doesn’t tell us everything.  That’s the thing which frustrates us.  We have to trust an unknown situation in our lives to the God who knows everything.