Fear is both the looming realization that there are things out of my control and the frantic attempt to prove that fact untrue.
Anyone have a ritual that you do because deep down you’re afraid that if you don’t do it, something bad will happen? Growing up, I can remember my mom checking the doors at night at least 4-5 times. I get in the car and automatically reach for my phone just to make sure it’s there in case I need it.
We all do things that give us a sense that we are in more control than we really are. If we just have a certain amount of dollars a month, if we can just be nice to the right people, if we can just prevent our kids from being around negative influences . . .
Being cautious and being controlling is something we easily confuse. It’s right to be cautious about protecting our family, but it’s controlling to think that the protection begins and ends with me.
Of course, we would all admit that we know that there are things in life we cannot control. But if we were to really pay attention to our thoughts, we would find that our worries relate to our desire to be in control and our fear that we’ll find out that we’re not in control.
Though we know intellectually that God makes no mistakes, that His way is perfect, and that in the end we’ll understand; we still tend to clutch to our perception of control as if our lives depended on it. We worry, we obsess, we cry, we panic, and we frantically try to fix. And we are exhausted.
Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Our shoulders were not meant to carry the load of being in control. When it comes down to it, I cannot give up the need to worry and control on my own. It is part of the sin nature. We can see if from the very beginning of time: Eve ate the forbidden fruit in efforts of being in greater control/having more knowledge, Cain took matters in his own hands and killed his brother, Jacob manipulated (controlled) his Father to give him the portion that wasn’t his to take. Ultimately we lose out in the end when we spend our lives in turmoil trying to control what is not ours to control or worrying about the “what ifs” that we have no power to prevent.
Since control is part of our sin nature, the only way that we can learn to surrender and experience peace is when we truly trust the heart of our Father. This doesn’t come from someone else’s testimony, but must come from our own walk with God in which He reveals to our heart who He is. Once I know who He is and have an assurance of Him through my walk with Him, I quit fighting the battle to be in control knowing that the battle is not mine, it’s the Lord’s.
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’”