You see, I am, apparently, a control freak. I have the crazy belief that I’m in charge – of myself, of my life, of my children, of my future. You name, and I believe I can fix it. There’s just one flaw in this controlling nature of mine. I can’t fix everything. In fact, I’m not sure I can fix anything. There are many things I can’t even pretend to patch up. Yet, here I am, still believing I can fix it.
When I pray, I find myself saying things like, “God, please help me…..”
“Please help me fix it.”
“Please help me know what to do.”
“Please help me make a good decision.”
“Please help me guide him.”
“Please help me do the things I need to do.”
And the list goes on and on. On the surface, these prayers sound good. They sound like I’m asking for God’s guidance, and I am. However, the reality is, I’m asking God to fix it my way, on my terms and in my time.
“Help me, God.”
“I can do this, God, if you just help me.”
“How about if I drive and you just give me directions, God?”
“I know you’re really busy, so I’ll handle this one. Okay, God?”
“You don’t mind if we do things my way, do you God? After all, you’ve made me very smart.”
1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
The reality is, I am not smarter than God. Without Him, I can’t fix anything. Without Him, I don’t even have my next breath. He is everything, and He is in control.
For me, praying, “Help me, God,” is a habit. I’ve always phrased my prayers that way. However, I’ve found that the most profound, powerful answers to my prayers have come when I relinquished that control and said, “God, I can’t.”
“God, I can’t do this alone. I need you.”
“God, I can’t make this decision. You make it for me.”
“God, I can’t fix this. Only you can.”
“God, I’m not it. It’s your turn.”
“Not it, God!”
Isaiah 40 sums it up nicely. It tells us God has no equal. Verse 14 says, “Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?” Isaiah 40 ends in verse 31 with, “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
When I was younger, I had no idea what verse 31 meant. I remember wondering what people were waiting on and why they would need to find strength. I was clueless. Then, I lived life. Now, I get it.
I also did not understand Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God.”
I used to believe this verse was telling me to sit still and think. This only made me feel guilty, because I’m really bad at being still. If I sit still, I fall asleep. I would beat myself up over the fact that I could not even be still and know. I do believe there is great value in just being quiet and thinking, praying and mediating. While this is something I can still work on, I don’t actually believe that’s what Psalm 46:10 is telling us. I believe God is saying, “You are NOT IT! Quit trying to fix everything. Be still, and let me handle this!”
“My child, cease striving. Stop trying. Quit stressing. I’ve got this!”
And to that, I reply, “Not it!”
I have a way of messing things up. Things work out much better when God handles them. I am so thankful I have a God who is far bigger than me, worlds smarter than me and much more able to handle me than I am. God’s foolishness is still smarter than my smart.
When I can actually manage to let go of control, it feels so good. Life is so much better when God handles things for me. I am glad he allows me to look at life’s struggles and joyfully yell, “Not it!” God’s got this. I can rest. -Al