who’s in control

I like to be in control. (There. I said it.) I guess that’s why God decided to teach me in recent years that, “Darlin’ it ain’t you holding the world together.” His longsuffering with us astounds me. And no He doesn’t always speaks to me in Southern twang.

For the vast majority of my life, I *needed* people and circumstances to fit into my neat little box in order for me to live peacefully.


flickr photo credit: noelas


My kids needed to obey. My husband needed to love like Jesus. Our finances needed to make perfect sense. And when they didn’t, my blood pressure would rise, my joy would deflate, and my peace would flee.

But there’s a problem with that logic. If the state of my soul depends upon what everyone and everything does, then everyone and everything else controls me. I allow the world to control me.

And that’s not freedom.

Freedom comes in the resting. When I rest in the fact that my God completely reigns, people and circumstance no longer dictate my inner-being. When I choose to trust that He faithfully sees and hears and moves for the good of His children and the glory due His name — even through the messy — my soul finds a stride that this world cannot steal.


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack.
Psalm 34:8-9


Because kids will lick the Wal-Mart bathroom stall before we have time to intervene. Or worse. Our human spouses will fail us every, single day (just like we fail them). And finances will blow away like the wind. But it doesn’t mean that I have to give up and crumble into a heap. At least not for long.

Darlin’, you and I are not the ones in control. He is. And He does a perfect job without our hands trying to grab the wheel. Until Jesus comes back, life will happen. Some seasons will be down right excruciating. But He still reigns. He still calls you “my child”.

The gift of peace awaits. We can draw from the well of His character even when everything seems to be out of *our* control.

Fill me, Lord…

How have you struggled with “needing” to be in control?


  • That’s a tough one! Things just don’t work out when I try to be in control. I can’t control people, places, & things…yes, which stinks…but I can make the choice to participate or not, and to set boundaries! And I have to constantly remind myself to give God the control back…it’s HIs deal, not mine! (luv u & your sense of humor, friend!)

    • Boundaries. Yes. We need such constant wisdom from Him as to what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. Like Amy referred to below, we can only control ourselves — and even that under the empowering of His gracious Spirit. (And glad I could make you smile.)

  • Amy

    Perfect timing on this message… “remind me Lord that I CAN control how much I am in communication with you! I’ve seen in the past and know in the future that this is how you provide Your perfect peace! “

  • oh girl funny that you wrote this …. i struggle with control w/ my kids and w/ my schedule. my kids big time. i feel like when they obey and act the “right” way then i’m in control. when they are not acting “right” i feel out of control. actually talking about this next Wed on my blog. God is working on my little control idol bit by bit!

    • He so faithfully crushes those idols that ultimately pull us away from Him. Praying with you that we continually rest in His absolute control.

  • Englishlorik

    oh my! love this! love the part about the kids will like the wal-mart bathroom stall! have spent my ENTIRE life trying to make my world and the people in it absolutely perfect, and i am exhausted. so thankful that i can rest in Him. it has taken a long time to figure that out, and some days i still fight to control it all. but you are right, there is freedom and rest in the fact that He reigns! thank you for sharing. love reading your posts.

    • Thank you, friend. Praying we would *know* this truth deep in our souls. (Even in Wal-Mart)

  • Oh, how I completely understand! I feel the need to be in control as well! No, God does not need us trying to grab the wheel!
    I appreciate how you are always guiding us all back to TRUTH!

  • Wow. Just what I need to hear. The Lord often speaks “rest” to my soul and I’ve wrestled with that but this brings some clarity. Thank you!

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  • Oh, my!! such a great post…

    I am a recovering control freak. I chose to unschool partly because it helps me to keeps my hands off and rely on God.

    God is doing an amazing work in me. 🙂 Praise be His name.

  • Ditzygypsy

    My aunt is so good at letting God be in control and not fretting–even though we come from a family of worriers. To me, life is like a studio. Each event is like a session. I have to do the singing (free will); God doesn’t do that for me. I might know what song I want to do, but usually I have to allow the choice to be collaborative with whomever I’ve allowed myself to be surrounded by and interact with from the players to the writers. And the timing of my choices has an effect. But when it comes to getting the actual recording done–I can’t be IN the iso-booth AND at the control board. I need to let God be at the board while I choose and sing and make mistakes and do re-takes until it’s time to move on to the next song. However, I have to constantly tell myself to get back into the booth and do my part and allow the engineer (God) to make the tape roll (well, it USED to be tape; now it’s bytes or something) and to make the sound beautiful. If I sing badly and allow a horrid song to be chosen because I’m around crappy writers and musicians who drag me down, God can only do so much with my lousy choice and effort.
    Logically, I know worrying is pushing God off the control board. I can’t push the buttons on the board (nevermind the fact that I SUCK at engneering), but everytime I worry, I block His access to the board. It’s so simple, and yet for me, a constant struggle.

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