Losing Control

I’m thankful that I have an “essential” job right now. I know there are a lot of people tonight that don’t. Maybe you are in that group. And you sit there wondering what you are going to do. How are you going to pay your bills. How will you answer the questions your kids have.

How do you maintain a sense of calm and collection in the midst of seeming chaos.

How do you keep control.

See, I think most people (myself included in this struggle) grasp onto control. Voluntarily letting go is hard enough. Having it forced from you, whether by a person or circumstance, I think is even harder. And the feelings when it happens, I think are often more intense.

I have friends, and family who have had work hours cut back. Some have been put on rotating schedules, splitting the workload with others so that everyone can still get something. I have friends who have been laid off. There is a sense of lost control. And while these times are difficult and discouraging, I think it’s moments like these that highlight a truth we often want to deny.

We were never in control to begin with.

The harsh reality is that you and I don’t really control anything. It’s an illusion we parade in, finding comfort when things “go our way”. And yes, that truth can make the current situation sting a little more. For many, it means setbacks of dreams and goals. It easily leads to depression, something I and many I know have to constantly battle and be watchful of.

But in the midst of the chaos, in the moments when it feels like the rug is being pulled out from under me, I can still find peace. I don’t have to dwell in the illusion of loosing control, letting fear and despair take hold in my life. Is that easy to come to terms with? No, but it’s possible.

I often think of David in his younger years when I think of fear, depression, a sense of lacking peace. He was no stranger to it. Anointed as a young boy as the future King of Israel, he spent most of his young life being in the crosshairs of King Saul. He was hunted, constantly under threat of death from the king he was to replace on the throne. And not because he wanted to be king; God ordained it.

There were many nights I’m sure David struggled to sleep, always looking over his shoulder for someone to cross him. I can imagine the roller coaster of emotion he experienced and wrestled with when he was in Saul’s court and on the run. I would imagine it was many of the same emotions many of us find churning in ourselves now.

We get a glimpse into David’s heart and mind through many of the Psalms. One he wrote in reflection of being captured by an enemy while fleeing Saul, lamenting the constant pursuit by his enemy’s. And yet he does not fail to properly correct his perspective in the midst of hardship.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4

Even in the face of death at the hands of his enemies, David was able to shift his focus to a reality he came to understand well: God is in control.

That didn’t mean he was just a pawn in the world, but a steward of what God entrusted him with. That’s important to understand. The fact that we are really not in control of anything does not mean we don’t have purpose, that we are just chess pieces on a board.

David understood that he was a steward, and that regardless of what his current situation was, he was called to trust God through it all. He was in control, He had a purpose for him, and He was faithful to provide.

For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Psalm 56:13

King David had seen time and time again, God provide in the darkest of times. David understood suffering, fear, depression; he knew the familiar feelings that come with chaos. But he never lost sight of this truth, God is in control. It might not always make sense; you might have more questions than answers in the moment.

Maybe that’s where you are right now. Maybe, you feel lost and like you have lost all control surrounding your life. Find encouragement in the truth that it was never yours to begin with, that it rests in the hands of One who is more capable than we ever could be. One who is more faithful than we could ever be.

God is in control.

Maybe you need to take a step like David did. When he was faced with what seemed like the end of his rope, he turned to God. He trusted God to be faithful and provide.

Have you? Will you?

I know it’s not easy. When the bank account just gets lower and lower, and there are still bills to be paid. When your kids start asking questions and you can’t find the answers. When you feel distance between you and your spouse as depression and despair begin to settle in.

Let David’s words be yours. Let your heart rest in the truth of God’s sovereignty in the midst of chaos.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.

Psalm 56:3-4

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