Okay so I have recently been pondering over my control issues. I do a pretty good job giving over control to God. Alright, so there are a few instances that I find hard to relinquish control, but for the most part I realize that worry, fear and anxiety are making things worse not better. Anyway, the other day, I was working on a problem that was like a sucker punch to the stomach. This problem impacted my family financially – big time. Unfortunately, the reins were being held by a few, well to put it bluntly, idiots. I know that is not very nice, but it got me thinking. Why is it so hard for me to relinquish control to a bunch of idiots? I don’t remember a clause in the bible that says, “Relinquish all your anxiety, worry and fear UNLESS YOU ARE DEALING WITH IDIOTS.” Maybe there should be a clause like that. Okay, so God touched my heart through the words of a wise friend that said, “Number one rule Anne – don’t panic.” I know he was right. I shouldn’t panic even when a bunch of idiots are holding on to my financial status. Right? God doesn’t call us to be rich monetarily; maybe rich spiritually, but definitely not rich financially. I have to tell you, I was really struggling.
Pete has worked really hard in order to provide for our family. He spent many hours traveling, working late and giving up A LOT of family time for his “success”. Over time his focus has shifted from work to spirituality which has equaled more time with his family. Still God has provided for us over and above what we need. The good part of all this growth for Pete has been that he sees the importance of faith over work in his life. He also is extremely giving, kind and humble about money. Both of us have found in the last few years the importance of our spiritual growth over our financial growth. But still, when someone comes and starts messing around with your money, it hits you out of the blue.
While Pete stays calm and thoughtful about the problem, I start to get angry. I mean really angry. “How dare someone think they can take from us that way?” That was my first reaction. Throughout the night I just got madder and more madder until I woke up, opened my emails only to find more issues and I got even madder. Do you see where this is going? No place good that is for sure.
So, I said to God, “Where are you taking me? What road do you want me to follow? I want to follow the road to vengeance. I want to make right this wrong. I want these people to see what they are doing. Is that what you want me to do God?” As I sat back, I knew that God was not calling me to be the martyr. I knew He was calling me to something a little uncomfortable – something called patience.
As I opened up one of my devotionals today, I read it in amazement. It was about accepting help.
The writer was stranded in a blinding snowstorm and writes this, “Visibility was so bad that I couldn’t see the sides of the road; I couldn’t tell where my driving lane began and ended. I struggled to find my way, but finally surrendered and began to pull off the road to sit out the storm. Then I realized that I could make it home if I allowed the trees that lined the road to help me to gauge my position.” The author accepted help and relinquished the problem to God.
Letting go of the problem that was created by others is my first step in acknowledging that God is my main concern, not money. I don’t need to find a way out because God will. I cannot change others, but I can change the way I look at this problem. It is easy to point fingers, but when have I done something similar, when have I been the idiot?
If I dwell on the problem and not on God, then my worry and anxiety and idolatry of money will only get worse. But if I dwell on God’s Will, I will clearly see the solution.
In the book of Revelation (which I am currently studying) in chapter 5 it tells us about the scroll that is in the hands of God. The scroll has writing on it and my first thought was – the scroll holds God’s plan. As you continue to read on, it tells us that the scroll could not be opened by anyone, and so John (who is the author of Revelation) weeps. He is weeping because God’s plan although it is tangible, cannot be read. (If I focus on the problem and not the Holy Spirit within me, I will never see God’s Plan). But John soon finds out that the scroll can be opened – but only by the “Lamb:” the Lamb that was slain. The Lamb represents Jesus: the one who came to us in human form to give us God’s grace. Later in Chapter 6 it gives us the imagery of what it looks like when one of the seal is broken. “I looked and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories.”
God’s plan was revealed and victory followed. Amazing. So when I find myself engulfed in a problem, I need to relinquish control to God. God will reveal his plan and if I am open to it, He will be victorious. While I still feel like the idiots that created my dilemma are – well still idiots, I have hope that God will overcome this obstacle and find a way for victory. I also recognize that I too can be an idiot: when I don’t open my heart to God, when I push my own agenda forward and when I don’t seek out help. You see, God’s Will can be so clear if we just find time for him in our life and recognize that we cannot do things on our own.