One of the hardest things I struggle with is trusting God in that he is enough. Enough so that I can let go of the control I do my best to implement in every aspect of my life. It has been something I have never faced. I’d surrender my heart during service, prayer time, or in times where the pressure was high or I was so broken that I had no one else to turn to but Jesus. Yet once I received the strength, the revelation I’d do as James tells us not to do and forget what happened not applying it to myself saying, “Thank you Jesus for showing up for me, for teaching me, for healing my heart, but I got it from this point on. I’m good. ”
Like my and your spiritual ancestors prior to the kings that ruled the Israelite I’d call on Jesus, invite him in my home through his spirit and from there allow him to steak out in the living room, even push him out the yard. It’s funny it feels like I’ve told this story before, and that’s because like the Israelite I’ve lived it over and over again.
Control of what is to come, of others reactions, and the process of making plans is all an illusion. What is reality is our response to different situations in our lives, through our faith in Jesus Christ, and working this salvation out daily. I am not saying write out a schedule for the day, or even 5 years from now. I am saying that no matter what he is in control. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9
No matter what he is in control.
I hadn’t been to church in awhile and though what I consider girl time in prayer with my mom had ensued helping me greatly, I was hungry for something more. Church started at 10:30 Sunday morning. I feel asleep and woke up around 10:35, “Okay Lord I’ll go next Sunday, I’ll just spend some personal time with you today.” After spending some time writing and reading, even scrolling through instagram, I took a shower. Around 4:20 p.m. my mother walked into my room and says, “Hey… I was thinking about going to church this afternoon…” She had an iffy look on her face. My spirit jumped and I jolted, “Yes! Let’s go! I just took my bath.” I hurried and found something to wear, but my heart started to beat fast and doubt overshadowed my mind. I then proceeded to tell Jesus what was going to happen, how I was going to respond and participate, “Lord, I am going to church, but I will not get all emotional, I will listen to what is being said and I will not go down to the alter to pray.”
Riding to church I put on my music and tried to breathe because my heart was beating out of my chest. When I got to church, a dear friend, sister, and mentor of mine waved at me and I made my way to sit by her. We hugged and caught up for a second. As the service proceeded well, my heart was challenged, to look at myself, the hurt that I carried fought against my desire to love those that hurt me, to even give my hurt to the Lord. After the sermon a song came on like a prayer asking, “Lord purify my heart…” Suddenly I gave into the desire to love as God has called me to and give my hurt to him, to let him have it all. Tears began to fall from my eyes as I began to break inside. Another dear sister of mine came and grabbed my hand and walked me out of the pew to walk me to the front for prayer. I couldn’t even make it to the front. I cried and broke down on her shoulder after months of stumbling through this collected “controlled” pain.
No matter what he is in control.
The pastor got up told me to come to the front. Once the song came again, I fought. I fought for my joy, to release pain, to heal, I gave him everything and not only that many came and fought with me wiped my tears because at the end of the day no man is an island and we were made for love and connection. Many were the hands and feet of Jesus to me that day. It changed me life and I can tell you this was not on my itinerary. It needed to happen because turns out I needed emotional healing. I’m not saying that one time healed me completely, but it gave me strength to continue on, and helped me to trust in God more. You see letting go of control allows you trust God more, to trust the love of Christ, to trust that this control that is being asked of is being asked of in love to provide peace, to go live life in a way that you will grow through your trials not to succumb in your trials. We were made to grow.
“…. knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” –Romans 5: 3-5
Thy word is a lamp onto my feet and light unto my path. If his word, that illuminates our spirit, that heals our souls, that teaches us daily lights up our path that means we have to rely on him for our next step. Our dependency on God does not show our weakness but builds our faith and strength in him. Dependency on God gives us the strength to walk in the spirit, and to choose him daily in what he teaches and in how he loves. For everything that is done is for our good and in the love that we have the opportunity to accept and live in. Without love there is nothing. So in love he calls you to the alter of your soul, and asks you to give him everything daily so that he may provide you with the daily bread you need for the day. He asks you to trade your worry for his peace, your pain for his healing joy even joy in pain. You see when you let go give control to the lord you are never left empty handed.
Jesus was talking to the disciples sharing with them that he will have to die. When Peter heard he stated that Jesus would not have to do so with great vigor I would suppose. Jesus responded, “Get behind me Satan.” (Matthew 16:21-23)Peter loved Jesus. What if Jesus would have listened to him and said, “You know what Peter you’re right, I’m glad you said that… I’m not going to die on the cross… my father will send someone else.” Imagine if that happened? Who would pay the debt we cannot pay, would save the entire world? Who? It was Jesus that loved God more than any of his own humanly desires, that trusted the Father more than anyone around him, and because of that Peter who denied the one he loved, was able to be forgiven and not only that lead thousands to Christ.
It’s a daily process and choice. Yes broken father and/or mother relationships, sexual, physical, emotional, verbal, mental abuse, miscarriages, cancer, the loss of someone, loss in general, chronic pain, and all that life brings good mixed in with bad can cause us to hold our stuff and say, “Look Lord I’m good, you can stay in that room, you don’t need to come back here…” But that is where the true healing lies. May I petition to you that God wants more and not only that he wants to enter into places you have not let the closest person in your life into because of shame and guilt. Jesus on the cross represents all of your pain, all of your loss, the abuse, the illness. The scars on his hands that “doubting” Thomas touched says, “Me too…” and his listening ear says, “I’m here.”
One time of opening up in prayer does not change everything at once. For some it does, it does not always work that way though, but one time in prayer at church, in your room, in your car, or even at your job and gives you the strength to begin, a chance to dump it all on the Lord and allow him to work with you and heal your hurting heart.
The thing about control that it does not allow you to develop a loving relationship with the Lord. It’s on your terms and most times that is not enough, we can only walk alone for so long. We need Jesus and sweetie it is quite alright to need Jesus. This is a daily walk, a relationship that with the help of Jesus and the surrender of our broken hearts grows and matures overtime that we may be more like him. Jesus didn’t die to heal one part of you, Jesus died for every single part of you. He does not heal partly, he heals holistically. You are so loved and cherished, for he wants everything. He wants you, every single part of you.
Lord I need you. I cannot open up to you on my own, I can’t carry this pain, this grief, this bitterness, the hurt on my own anymore. Please Lord enter my heart and help me to heal. Lord please provide for me what I need this day. I know that you are the provider of my soul. I am broken and breaking daily, please take these broken pieces and make something more beautiful and new. Help me Lord, I surrender my heart to you. I give you the broken pieces, I give you the pain, I give you the anger Lord carry this for me, take it away Lord and help me to carry my cross. I give up the need to control, for you are Lord of my life and comforter of my soul. I love you Lord and thank you for showing me that I am never alone and that I am loved by you always. Amen.
The next time I went to church. I told said within myself ,”I’m not putting an agenda on you today Lord…” Went to church and he continued to work on me and with me. Yes I was emotional, yes a broke down in tears and yes I did pray. I am stronger now than I was before. I am learning that when he is in control, you feel more in control, because you are following the one who is in control of it all. If he holds your today, you can trust and know who holds your tomorrow.
Journal Question: What are you giving God control of?