Friday, May 18, 2012

Vying for Control

This seems to be a reoccurring theme everywhere I turn lately – our human struggle for control. We plead with God to answer our prayers, but we want to give Him pointers on how and where and when. We want to order our days and shape our own destiny, but ultimately, we have very little control. And that bites.

This morning I read what I refer to as the baby wars between Rachel and Leah in Genesis 29-30. Both of Jacob’s wives desperately wanted children. Leah wanted them because Jacob didn’t love her and she wanted to prove her worth to him. Rachel wanted children because even though Jacob loved her, it was considered a mark of shame to be barren.

Leah was fertile Myrtle. She had four sons; Rachel zero. So Rachel, the wife he loved, begged Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

He responded, “Am I in the place of God who has kept you from having children?” Jacob recognized God’s sovereignty.

Rachel didn’t like that answer, so she took matters into her own hands. She gave Jacob her maidservant to sleep with, to conceive in her name. Bilhah had two boys in a row. Then since Leah had stopped having children, she stepped it up and gave Jacob her maidservant to sleep with. Zilpah had two more boys. The score was now Leah six; Rachel two. And the story continues, spiraling into a crazy mix of jealously grasping for control.

While it sounds insane to us in our day, we’re really no different. We may not go to such lengths to have children, but we carry out our own dramas in our quest for health, wealth, power, love, and excitement.

Today’s devotional in Jesus Calling (by Sarah Young) says, “Trust Me enough to let Me guide you throughout this day, accomplishing My purposes in My timing. Subordinate your myriad plans to My Master Plan.” Apparently this is a lesson God wants me to learn.

There are so many things in my life I would like to control: my schedule, publishing success, appliances that consistently work, for the people I love to turn to Christ, my aging body, and my husband. However, God is showing me day by day that although my plans seem best from my limited vantage point, He is the One who sees beyond today into eternity. If I want to be at peace, I must trust Him to guide me in His ways.

My favorite definition for faith is: leaning into Jesus, trusting Him to support and hold us, the same way we lean back into a chair with our full weight. We don’t tell our chair when and how to hold us, we simply rest. So today, I will look to Jesus for directions and to equip me for whatever comes. He is sovereign. I will trust in Him.

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