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God been teaching me in this season? That I'm not in control!
there are -many- things outside my control, and I’m acutely aware of it! I am
not alone in this feeling - because of that loss of control, many of us
struggle with these fears. We may have fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, fear of
violence, fear of sickness, fear of death, fear of the loss of a job, fear for
the health of our loved ones, fear of loss of financial security, perhaps fear
of endless isolation and loneliness, and many other things.
to those fears - maybe even exacerbated by those fears - we struggle with our
own sinful natures, with our character defects. I certainly do! Perhaps even
more than usual, we struggle with being Angry, Controlling, Judgmental -
perhaps we struggle with Perfectionism, Lack of Boundaries, Isolating,
Jealousy, Ungratefulness, Procrastination, People-pleasing, and many other
issues. As a friend of mine likes to say, "People who say they don't have
issues give me issues!".
doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome -
thinking we can control circumstances, people, places, things, even our own
sinful natures using willpower - by trying harder in our own strength. MY
desire to control - my anger to try to fix things and people – the problem is
actually me! Projecting my fears onto others. My fears, my hang-ups. I'm the
His help I can change. The antidote to my delusion that I am in control, is the
reality that God is in control. He's in charge of the outcomes. That's God's
responsibility. I can respond in faith or fear. What am I afraid of? In those
fears where would God be? In my anxiety and fear, I pray for the faith to
believe God. Like the boy's father in Mark 9:24 - "I
do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Even in my fears and doubts, I
believe Him because of the things I have seen Him do in my life. I know I can
trust him in the small things and the big things. I have a choice of how I
react to circumstances.
While we may
not have the power to make ourselves or others change, fortunately the only strength
we truly need is to believe in God's power! Jesus told us in John 6:29,
"The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent". That is
it - that is all! He is the one that will do the work. His power is infinite.
Our part is - that we just have to show up, keep surrendering, keep turning to
Him - and don’t ever quit! He will do the hard work of transforming us. That is
what He does. As we learn to surrender our struggles and fears to Him, as we
lean into Him, as we let Him transform us by the renewing of our minds, as we
surrender ourselves to obedience and trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit.
journey is about transformation. Truth overrides the lies or doubts we tell
ourselves. We need to learn to be "reasonably" happy - accepting circumstances
as they truly are. Accepting others as they are. Not trying to control them! We
need to let God be the one to control our circumstances. We need to accept
responsibility, stop blaming others, examine ourselves. Peace comes from
choosing those things. As we surrender to God, we will discover that He gives
us new life - that He makes a new heart of flesh in us!
Scripture has stood out to me? As I face my fears, and the fact that there are
many things in this life that I cannot control - I invite you to join me in
accepting what God told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.". And let us
also like Paul say, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my
weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me".
you just the way you are, but He is not willing to leave you where you are.
Trust in Him, surrender to Him, lean into Him. He will give you peace through
the fears of this journey. Serenity indeed!
grant me the serenity
accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
the wisdom to know the difference.
one day at a time,
one moment at a time;
hardship as a pathway to peace;
as Jesus did,
sinful world as it is,
as I would have it;
that You will make all things right
I surrender to Your will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)
South Park Church1330 S. Courtland Avenue | Park Ridge, IL firstname.lastname@example.org | 847.825.5507
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