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Day 2

Day 2

Author: Nick Powell
June 09, 2020

 

What has God been teaching me in this season? That I'm not in control!

Currently 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.

In addition 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!".

Insanity is 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 problem.

But with 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.

This 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!

What 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".

Jesus loves 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!

Come Holy Spirit!

 

Prayer

 

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

(The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)

Nick Powell



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1330 S. Courtland Avenue | Park Ridge, IL 60068
info@southparkchurch.org | 847.825.5507


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