Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Here’s the thing, I have REALLY REALLY BAD control issues. I’m also like 90% sure that I’ve written about this before, but who cares? Am I right? We all need a reality check every once in a while.
Recently, God has been showing me how much I try to control everything, and lets be honest, the fact that I can’t actually control anything makes my anxiety really antsy under my skin. In that scripture it says that, “man plans his way.” When I read it my mind instantly sets up this little map in my head, like if I were to be planning a hiking trip or something. I lay the map down and I start looking at the destinations that I want to go to. In this case, I start looking at who I want to be with, where I want to go, how I want to get there, how fast I’m going to get there, and I essentially create my own time line.
I have been planning MY way.
In my head I see each destination along the way and I’m like, “OK, this is perfect! Blah, blah, blah.” So I start out on the journey of my perfectly organized and color-coded plan for which way my life is going to go then I run into this huge rain shower and I don’t have an umbrella or I slip and fall off of a metaphorical cliff.
LIKE, THAT FREAKING SUCKS. I don’t want that to be my life, I want a green run not a black diamond. (Skiing/snowboarding reference)
So here I am, just going along then I come across this nonsense and my brain, being a human brain, is like flipping out. So at first when I come across this, my anxiety is like “Oh HAAAYYYY GIRL, what up? Let me just help you cry for three years about this.” The thing is, I want to cry for three years and just think about how this is the worst and it’s never going to get better, but that’s not real life. It’s just not true.
ANXIETY AND CONTROL IS A LIE, a big, fat lie.
The second part of that verse is what really sticks out to me simply for the phraseology, because instead of using the word ‘ways’ it says ‘steps.’ Steps happen one at a time. You can’t take 47 steps at once, I mean if you’re tall maybe you can step that distance, but you still don’t have that many feet. It’s true, think about it for a moment. You have two feet and the only way you get anywhere is moving one in front of the other, which means one step at a time. Isn’t there a Disney song about that or something? There has to be… ANY WAY!
So, God orders our steps. When we make our plans, we look literally like 37 years in the future, like, “oh, I wonder what my daughter is going to wear on her wedding day?” Why is that even relevant? That honestly has nothing what so ever to do with my life right now.
Looking at the big picture is a good thing, because it helps you consider possible outcomes and it helps decisions be more thoughtful and educated, but we cant let those big pictures give us the illusion of us being in control. We can’t let them completely dictate us through fear of the unknown.
Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
If we’re so focused on what might happen, what is happening won’t be as good as it can be. Focusing on the might makes the present almost unintentional. Unintentionally creates complacency and complacency is only harmful because it means you’re not growing.
I’m not sure about you guys, but I want to be intentional as heck. Like I want the people in my life to feel like they are THE STUFF. Let me tell you, making people feel valuable is pretty dang hard to do when you’re focusing on something that may happen if you say this exact thing and if whoever reacts exactly how you imagine they will.
Are you kidding me!? Even writing this I am more and more aware that control is an illusion. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m awful at living this out, but it is a process and processes develop over time to teach you. Since our process is derived with divine purpose, we don’t even need to be in control because Gods got our back.
Job 12:10 (ESV)
“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
Our fear is almost completely irrelevant because Gods purpose is so present.
Ecclesiastes 8:6 (ESV)
“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”
Many times when we get upset for our lack of control, it’s because we forget who we are in Christ. We run to God and ask him to take the problem away because we are so devastated, but what about recognizing that because of him we already have all that we need in ourselves. He has made us over comers. We are valuable beyond measure and no feeling, which accompanies the loss of our preconceived control, will change that. No feeling of doubt, worthlessness, fear, lack, sadness, or anything else will change our value. We need to bring our fear of from not being in control to him and then step back and just trust God to do what he’s promised.
“You’ve got to plead with God so that he can do what only he can do, then get out of the way and let him do it!”
Let me just say, I’m awful at giving it up and new situations arise every day, but that just means I have lots of opportunity for growth and to learn to put my trust in Gods control. Lets be honest every time we try to control anything its like that moment we’re lost in the rain shower in the middle of nowhere without the proper equipment; we always forget something.
I leave you all with that, and if this is just too scatter-brained to comprehend, then I’m sorry but I hope something resonates. You are all truly amazing, thinking about your hearts makes me excited to learn the hard stuff so I can share what’s close to me. Have an adventurous week!