Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. – Proverbs 19:21
Well, it sure has been a while since any of us have written on here and so today I thought I’d share with you something that’s challenged and has also had a large role in my life; the idea of control.
It’s hard to admit this, but I am someone who loves to have control. It’s how I am wired. Assessing every situation that comes in my way whether that be past, present or future and how these affect me is something that I subconsciously do. I love analysing how situations that present themselves to me could work out against or for my benefit and how these situations will affect others. Ultimately when something different, out of the ordinary or challenging arises I try to rein in the situation and see how I, Beth Walters can attain power over such issues. In doing this I can stay in my comfort zone; feeling safe and secure and at ease because I am in control of everything. This pleases me, because when everything is in my reach and going smoothly life seems pleasurable, enjoyable… but I’ve noticed that such peace doesn’t remain long and soon I go back to scrambling everything together so I can once more feel… safe, secure and at ease.
The more things go out of my control the more I try to be in control. It’s a terrible cycle that soon began to rule my life.
The moment of realisation came when I felt God was calling me to step out of my comfort zone. Which meant stepping out of this self-constructed box of safety, security and easiness. Which is hard, very hard especially when you are someone who loves to be in control. My whole life I’ve mostly been able to control situations. But I started to wonder how control, God’s plans for my life, and him calling me to step out of my comfort zone go hand in hand with one another?
The answer I soon learnt was they don’t really.
Well not as easily as I thought, they don’t exactly mix together well like when I bake a batch of biscuits.
Psalm 139:13 ‘For you created my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mothers womb’
So surely he knows what is best for me and he knows my breaking point, my limit and he will never push me past that.
See the thing was I knew what God wanted me to do. He wanted me to step out of my comfort zone, to take up new opportunities and to embrace challenges. And of course I wanted to do that! Wanted to follow God and yet every time I tried to the result would be that I’d end up overwhelmed and tired. I knew that outside these walls were far greater things, far more exciting and thrilling opportunities; that yes- excited me but also scared me. Although I wanted to remain inside my box because the unknown and uncontrollable meant that I wouldn’t be able to be in control what it did mean was that I would have to fall into God’s arms and trust him.
God soon showed me though that when I let go and let him be in control of the unknown, when I let God lead my so desired footsteps; spectacular things can occur.
Like Proverbs 16:19 says ‘The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.’
As I began to let God carry me in our same desired direction instead of trying to get to the destination by myself, things started happening that I could never have dreamed of. Doors that I could only dream of opening started to open. For example, speaking opportunities, opportunities to go to conferences and even down to every day conversations. Instead of seeing my hand trying aimlessly to control situations I began to see God’s. Such so that I became so much more at peace when situations arose because I knew that I didn’t have to worry for we have a God that can take worry and turn it into a deep peace. It was a peace so different to the self-attained peace that occurred when I had finally controlled an arisen situation.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus died so that we could spend eternity with God, he died for our sins and he also carried our burdens on the cross. Jesus died so that we could be free, free of stress, free of worry, free of wanting to control.
You see I still do overthink at times. I may have many plans for my life but ultimately God is good, God is there and God is my guidance, my anchor and my rock. He is my director. God knows you, knows me; more than anyone else ever could. He knows our desires, what our passions are and what we want to do with our lives.
The beauty to the story is that when we let go and offer these to God we allow him to turn beautiful dreams into spectacular circumstances. We allow him to knock down our self built comfort walls. We allow him to guides us into the unknown. There's something beautiful about the territory outside of our comfort zone. Something so marvelous. That's where character building happens,where God sculpts, refines, challenges, stretches and grows us. We allow him to open up our hearts and refine us into diamonds. And yes the fire may be tough but diamonds can't occur without heat.
'But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold'
'For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried... we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
God never promised walking hand in hand with him would be easy, but boy is it worth it.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
My question is who's in control?