I'm sure you've read, heard, and even thought a lot about the concept of praising God during the storms, and not just when things are going right. I was thinking about this the other day (actually while listening to this song). But then I started thinking about control (turn off your immediate negative reaction to the word for just a second!), which anyone who knows me knows that I *ahem* might have a slight issue with. I got to thinking about how it's really easy to give God control of a situation that you feel powerless to change.... for example, maybe an offer on a house that you are waiting to hear back on, or circumstances with family members beyond your control, or even, God forbid, a terminal illness.
But what about giving God control of things that we feel we have control over? I wonder if that is a sign of spiritual maturity and pure trust....I guess I couldn't tell you, since I'm not there yet! ;) I don't know about you, but I struggle to give God things that I "know" I can handle myself. Or I want to try x,y, and z first before really getting down to business and figuring out what God wills for me. Now don't confuse giving control with the "let go and let God" we hear so often... I'm not equating the two. The first to me says that you realize ultimately God is in control and that handing him that control means His will will be done, not yours, but that doesn't make you passive. The second to me, in a similar situation, might mean that you're throwing your hands up and letting God take the reigns from there, and deciding to be somewhat more passive in the situation. I think they both have their place, but I'm referencing the first one. Anyway, I have no complete thought or inspirational point, but I'm wondering what your thoughts are? How do you help yourself recognize that God is in control of the things that you so desperately want to control yourself?
I'll give an example, for those of you who are scratching your heads wondering what in the world I am talking about. My husband was a customer service manager in retail when we were dating and engaged. He works non-traditional hours, generally all holidays except Christmas, and the upwards path was going to mean longer hours. I didn't like it and felt I/we could control the situation. I wanted him to work traditional hours for our future children, and for my sanity. I didn't want to come home from work, escort kids to lessons, go see a kid's play, all while he was working at night. It seemed exhausting for me and not fair to our future children. So we decided he would find something else. He applied for jobs for a year, going on a few dead end interviews, but without success. It was very frustrating, and was hard on his morale. During the entire year process, we never stopped to consider what God's will was, or the control He had over the situation, because we felt like we could control it, that we knew what we wanted, and that we were going after it. Towards the end of that time period of endless applications and resumes, we began discussing in depth what we wanted for a future family.
This is when we decided (over a period of a few months) that we wanted me to stay home with our children and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, homeschool our kids. All of a sudden, his job became perfect. He is off on week days, which means he could go on any family 'field trips' and we could avoid weekend trips to museums/beaches/etc that would be packed. We won't have a rigid school schedule since we'll be home, so he can jump in and help, or we can take the morning off to be with him if he is working that night. I could go on, but you get the idea. It suddenly made perfect sense of why nothing was happening in all his tireless hours of applying for jobs. Only a few months after we made that decision, he got a promotion which was a definite financial help to our future planning and encouraged us that we are on the right path. And had we stopped to consult God, to recognize his control in the situation, we might have saved ourselves a year of heartache. So very clearly, this is an area we are working on. And an area I occasionally think about. I'd love to hear your thoughts!