Who’s in control here?

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I imagine that what’s true of my life is also true of yours: Right now, I have multiple people in my life, both at FRC and beyond it, who are working their way through cancer or other life-threatening, debilitating diseases. On a daily basis, these friends are reminded, in no uncertain terms, that they are not in control.

I have a lot to learn from them about trust.

When these brothers and sisters join the Psalmist in saying “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust,” (91:2) or when they echo the Psalmist in saying, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” (55:22), they have a depth of knowledge in areas that I have yet to skim the surface.

Personally, I really struggle with a proper understanding of control and trust. On one hand, I know I’m supposed to be a responsible steward and control the things I can control. On the other hand, I have a hard time accepting that so many things are outside my control. Consequently, life can be so frustrating and yet, I know I would have extraordinary peace and freedom if I let God prune my desire for control and replace it with trust in His sovereignty.

If you’re a human being, you likely struggle with this same dynamic. The narrative in Genesis 3 explains the phenomenon. In that story, we find that Adam & Eve wrest control of their lives away from God. We were never meant to be so independent, nor were we supposed to rebuke God’s sovereignty. Yet, here we are. Since we have such a hard time fully surrendering our lives into God’s hands, God has less opportunity to form us and make us into His image.

If you were at Faith Reformed last summer, you will know that we did a sermons series on questions from the Scriptures. Our title for that series was “Holy Disruption: Encountering a Questioning God.” In the process, we learned that God’s holy disruptions turn out to be divine blessings. Yet, if we’re always in control, then there will be little space for the God of Holy Disruptions to do His work.

This 40-day devotional is based on the metaphor from John 15 — God is the Vine-grower and we are mere branches. He will prune us so that we bear more fruit. Yet, if we’re always in control, that leaves very little space for the Vine-grower to do what’s necessary to help us out. And besides, the call of John 15 is to abide. In our attempts to control, we strive to grow by our own means, but God says, “abide in me and you will bear much fruit.”

TODAY’s PRAYER: Vine-grower, will you please prune those parts of me that are discontent with my lack of control? Will you teach me, yet again, that you are Sovereign and I am not? Will you help me to trust you will all my heart?

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