Control: to have power over, rule, to exercise restraining or directing influence over, regulate
Thought for the Day:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. II Timothy 1:7
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Psalm 25:28
Control, now that’s a word for you. Everything I read, view and experience in the world today deals with someone or something that wants, needs or is trying to gain CONTROL. It appears by definition from Webster control can be viewed from two perspectives; a person can have it and implement it as a power tool or said person can possess it and restrain from using this component for the greater good.
As a writer often you need to be totally transparent (a word I’ve heard used often in today’s current events) in my own life and experiences, so here goes. I’m a southern girl and everyone that has ever come in contact with me will know that fact within a couple of minutes. I can introduce myself and when asked where I’m from, I will promptly answer, “I currently live in Pittsburgh, but I’m a native of Virginia.” Boom. No doubt where this girl originated!
After hubby and I got married and had lived in Idaho Falls for almost two years, we were transferred to Pittsburgh's home office for DOE, my husband's employer. After initially meeting and dating in Virginia, I falsely assumed we would, after a few transfers here and there, end up in my beautiful home state and raise a family. Unfortunately, it didn't happen the way I planned. Due to hubby’s rise on the career ladder, we discovered Virginia wasn’t even an option. Control over the situation? Didn’t have any. Prayers to God? Didn’t seem to work towards a change of address. My mindset? My way or the highway and God needed to get onboard.
May I mention playing tug of war with God isn’t a great tool to implement to get your way. I consequently went into a depth of depression that wasn’t on my agenda. I needed assistance mentally to back into the game of life and realize God had a different plan than the one I had carved out. That entire experience still tugs at my heart and makes me sad. But the point to highlight, I did not have control over this issue. As I entered what was referred to as Talk Therapy, after several sessions the therapist revealed I possessed a fear surrounding control. Evidently it had been part of my mindset for years. The feeling of a lack of control led to anxiety attacks I was experiencing because who wants to feel unable to be in control of any situation? My dire need to move my family's location revealed my desire for total control over the state in which we would raise our family. Was my desire wrong? No, but there were others involved with this decision. I had built my control and desire as the central factor in the issue.
But through therapy and my faith in the Lord, I learned that He, God, is in total control. The power I possess is to restrain from the feeling I have control over God. As I submit my inability to control everything that happens in life, He will guide and direct my steps each and every day. Control is a misnomer and those that think they possess it will either lose it or use it unwisely because control is a misleading term. Control it seems today is getting one’s own way and using that influence to dominate or manipulate others . Truthfully, it takes more control to wield restraint than to contrive techniques of domination. We need to give it all to God because He's the only one in control!
Lord, protect our hearts and minds as Satan tries daily to persuade individuals that contentment comes through complete control over others’ opinions and thought processes. We realize that You, God, allow our paths to travel in directions we never saw coming because there are valuable lessons to be learned along the way. Fill us with contentment and restraint knowing Your Will is for us to live victoriously as we travel towards our eternal home. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Judith "Cookie" White is the founder of The Sounding Board Ministry. She is the author of two devotional books which are available on this site.