I've already confessed that I am not good at waiting. Patience is something that God is growing in my heart, that's for sure. One of my friends once said that we should never ask God for patience because He will surely give us some opportunities to practice it! Boy, is that true.
But as we choose to wait for God, as we choose to do our best to be patient, we are faced with this battle. Do we choose the need for control, or do we choose to trust in God?
When we choose to control, what happens? Here are some of the results, that I have found, when I try to control situations that are beyond my abilities.
When I choose control, I...
- Put a strain on my relationships. My need for control put a lot of tension on my relationship with my husband. I saw him as opposition to my plans; a person whom I couldn't control. I found myself angry at him when I really was just frustrated because I couldn't control his decisions or the situation we were facing.
- Put unnecessary stress on myself. Some situations are clearly beyond our control. Sometimes, there really is nothing you can do to make a situation better, to help someone out, or to change circumstances. I know I personally wasted a ton of energy trying to find a solution to a problem that was just out of my realm. The answer could not have come from me. I stressed myself out for nothing.
- Put God below myself. Ouch. This is kind of harsh, but it is true. When I seek control, I am saying I am better, smarter, and more capable than God. I put myself above God when I refuse to let him lead and provide. Control becomes the idol that I seek, and that puts God much lower than he deserves.
- Experience joy in my relationships. The strain we place on others because of our need for control is gone when we trust God to work things out for us. When we stop manipulating others, we can truly enjoy their gifts and talents and personalities. Trusting God frees us from trying to change others. The strain on my husband and I was gone because I could just enjoy what he brought to our relationship. I no longer saw him as the opposition to my plans because I was trusting God to work out His plans.
- Experience peace in my heart. When we choose to trust, we relieve ourselves of that self-inflicted stress. God invites us to give all our worries and cares to him because he loves us (1 Peter 5:7). When we decide to trust God and allow him to have his way in our lives, we get peace. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." When we trust God, we get rest for our souls. Amen!
- Experience God as King of Kings. We serve a BIG God! Creator of the universe! All-Powerful! Unshakeable! Mighty in Strength! Trusting God puts him where he belongs: as Lord of my life. When God is in his rightful place, I am in mine. I am his child. He takes care of me. I don't need to control things because he is in control. And God, in all of his glory, does a much better job than me anyway!