I’m a planner. I like to plan ahead and consider the future, to look toward what is around the bend. This tendency can very easily and quickly transform into control issues. As a leader and someone gifted with the responsibility of leading others, this desire to control can become a huge problem for me. Most of us learned at a very young age that people don’t like to be controlled, and many life circumstances are completely out of our control! I very quickly forget to trust God’s plan.
Apparently my sons don’t fall far from the tree. We often have conversations that are entirely centered on themes for their next birthday parties. One week after their birthdays, they are already planning for next year. Maybe you have experienced this with your own children, but conversations that involve planning for an upcoming birthday celebration can become quite heated! One night while we were fixing dinner, two of my boys were discussing their plans for their upcoming birthdays and arguing over who would have the better party.
I tried to assure them that they have always had fun birthday celebrations so they can calm down and not worry about their next birthday parties. I tried to help them realize that there are many, many days between now and their birthdays and that they can trust that their parents love them and will make sure they have a terrific party. Yes, we will have an amazing cake. Yes, we will invite their friends. Yes, they can pick the theme, and yes, they can even have it at a special place if possible. We will make sure all of the details work together for their best and their delight.
Will I let my son have a pool party in January if he wants? No because it would be too cold, and he would be miserable even though he thinks he would LOVE that. Will I buy my youngest son a pirate pinata today for his party in 11 months? No because I know that in two more months he will not be in to pirates anymore. I chuckled a bit as we were having this conversation, and then the Lord whispered to me.
“You know you do that, too. You worry about things that are beyond your control instead of trusting that I am in control. You fret and try to figure things out that are way out in the future. You waste time and energy planning and concocting scenarios instead of resting and trusting in my love. Have I ever failed you?”
No, of course not Lord!
“So why don’t you trust me instead of worrying? Rest in my faithfulness and the truth that I give good gifts and that I want what is best for you. Trust my heart. The same way that you will indeed do what is best for your children and find ways to please and delight them, understand that I feel the same way about you. I know what you need in this hour just as much as I know what you will need this summer, next winter, and every season for the rest of your life. I know what makes you smile, what will cause growth in you, and what you will need as you face each new circumstance. Please try to stop figuring it all out and simply trust my heart for you. I’ve got this. Really.”
Yeah, you’re right.
You’ve got this. Point taken.
What I need to remember is this….
“6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” – Philippians 4:6-8 (The Message)