I got to thinking about Jesus. He's my best friend. Sounds funny writing it out. He is the most important part of my life. He is literally life! What keeps me from saying His name? I think the reason for not mentioning his name goes beyond political or societal views. It’s a much, much deeper issue. I claim I’ve given Him all of my life, but I'm still hogging the parts I think I can control.
My work life for example. I feel like I can manage my work load. Sometimes it’s even a bit too easy (don’t tell my boss)! As long as the building doesn't burn down on my watch, I feel like I’ve got it under control.
In reality, I don’t have any control.
Did this statement make you cringe? Me too. I like to think I have at least some control. The truth is I could get sick any day. I could lose my job. My house could literally burn down. Could I have prevented any of this? Maybe. A very hesitantly written maybe.
You know what opened my eyes to my loss of control? My friend Jefferson Bethke (okay, I wish we were buddies and watched the latest season of America's Got Talent on the weekends together). He wrote a fantastic book called "Jesus>Religion." He speaks to people like me (and maybe you too). "He made it very clear that he's not after our external behaviors but instead after our hearts. He doesn't want what you do. He just wants you."
Wow. I sit stunned. Yeah, sure, God wants me. But, I get so consumed by dressing the part (literally in my semi-formal black dress). I forget how I was created by God for God.
This year I tried to take control. I didn’t trust God. Not with my finances, relationships and family. I took over the wheel. My strength tried to steer my life from being tossed side to side by the world. Events like my sister getting engaged without telling me. My brother having manic panic attacks from severe PTSD. Changing cities and switching houses. Breakups. Reuniting with old friends. Losing my grandma to dementia. Yeah, a lot happened.
I waited and waited for God to step in and stop the madness.
The mess I created. I expected God to fix. I can’t say I know exactly how He changed my heart. I think it was out of desperation for a different direction. I felt like I had crashed into a ditch and didn’t know how to get out. I called God like you would call AAA (triple A).
Guess what? He was there. He came and showed up in my mess. Cleaned me up and set me on my feet again.
Some days I wake up feeling my life drift into distrust, unrest and relentless pain. I remember God’s control. His strong hands holding my life. I ask for forgiveness and sense His peace.
I think God wants to have our complete attention and dedication. Hard times remind us of His control. So, I’m thankful for the difficult times. I’m thankful I don’t have it all together and God does.