So…Who’s Really in Control?

“…He has never let you down,  Why start to worry now?  He is still the Lord of all we see, And He is still the loving Father, Watching over you and me…God is in control” (Twila Paris, lyrics to God is in Control)

Tuesday night Michigan got the first real snowstorm of the season.  By comparison to other storms, it was pretty minor except that the snow was heavy and therefore, weighed down the power lines and the trees.  Where we live, our power usually goes out with the slightest breeze.  We are typically one of the first to lose our power and not first priority to get it restored.  I wonder sometimes if our road is even on their map (just kidding about that part).  I went to bed and prayed that night to please spare us losing our electricity.  I knew I had a busy day of working on Wednesday and really wanted to have heat, fresh coffee, and the ability to get my work done.  It was a selfish request, pure and simple, but a request nonetheless.  When I woke up Wednesday morning to heat, lights, and that fresh pot of coffee, I was shocked to hear that 7700 people in our County alone woke up Wednesday morning with no power, but we still had ours.  I praised and thanked God for sparing us, then went about my day. 

At 5:20 p.m., after turning in my work for the end of the month, I was just finishing up the last little bit of work before quitting for the night, and the power went out after all.  I was really irritated.  Why did it go out now, when the storm was over, the sun had been shining all day, and it was getting cold and dark outside?  What would cause it to go out when there were no more strong winds, the snow had stopped, and everyone else was getting theirs back on and starting to function again?

I realized my irritation was not so much that we lost power.  I do not think myself better than anyone else.  I do not think that I should be spared when others should suffer.  We all live on Earth, therefore we are all subject to earthly disasters, trials, and results of sin equally.  My irritation was not that I was better than others; it was plain and simple, I hate being out of control. 

I react the same way in other circumstances:  When I have my weekend planned out with fun activities and my children suddenly get sick so we are now housebound or when I am looking forward to spending the morning with a friend and for some reason plans get cancelled.  Especially when I know that I need to eat less food and exercise more but I resist being “told what to do.”  It all boils down to lack of control. 

However, I need to really change my perspective.  In reality, I am not in control of many things in life.  Yes, there are a few things that I can control:  My emotions, my reactions to life’s disappointments, my health, the amount of exercise I chose to participate in, and what I put in my mouth.  But there are many things that are beyond my control:  The weather, my work, other people’s reactions, whether or not my children choose to obey, and the list can go on. 

I guess, when it boils down to it, do I really want to be in charge of everything?  I have a hard time balancing the things I am in charge of.  To add to that responsibility would be overwhelming to say the least and I am sure I would spend even more time trying to fix my endless mistakes. 

So, instead, I am going to work on changing my perspective.  I know it will not happen overnight, but I am going to try to embrace the things that I am in charge of, making sure to complete them the best way possible, and gratefully leave the rest in God’s hands.  If He is capable of controlling the whole universe (and He is and then some), then I think He knows best when it comes to whether or not our family has electricity, or whether or not my weekend plans have to be changed. 

The only other job description I have is to quickly learn whatever lesson He wants to teach me in whatever way He chooses, remembering that His ways are always the best!  That may sound easy, but for someone as stubborn as myself, that is sometimes the hardest part of the whole process.

3 Replies to “So…Who’s Really in Control?”

  1. Cheri,

    Thanks for sharing. Actually, when I was reading your story and heard that your power went out after you finished all of your work, I was thinking “How cool”. You got your coffee and got all of your work done just as you asked.

    It IS all about perspective and I’m glad you changed your perspective on everything, but sorry you lost your power. It sounds like you need to invest in a generator or something.

    We lost power for a few days during an ice storm several years ago, but we had a fireplace to keep warm. I used the gas grill to heat up water for coffee and then poured it through the coffee maker. I also made several meals on the grill. I actually had fun, but I wouldn’t want to do it on a regular basis, especially in Michigan! I pray for everyone there that they will get power restored soon!

    Have a Victorious Day!

    Marianne Clements

  2. Thank you, Marianne for your comments. I appreciate them so much. In trying to write a condensed version of what happened, I failed to mention that I was incredibly grateful to God for honoring my request to get my work done. It was the end of the month and I had to turn my work in to get paid. It WAS incredibly awesome that we kept power all day when I needed it most. That was by no means an accident or coincidence. And, I also failed to mention that when I praised God for allowing us to keep our power, I also prayed that He would restore power quickly to the 7700+ that had lost it. Sometimes I think He allows things to get uncomfortable so we remember to emphathize with others in their difficulties. Thank you for allowing me the chance to continue the story to its entirety.

  3. I just read this post and was thinking the same thing, “Thank you Lord for allowing her to get her work done first before losing power.” Yes, it is an inconveniece but I see it as an opportunity to quiet down, no tv, no phone etc. It can be fun using flash lights however not during cold weather! When we lost power this summer at our old house, my husband had each child grab a solar powered light out from along the walk outside to use inside. I totally appreciated his clever idea! I am big on the control issue but am slowly really getting the fact that God knows best. Having Lauren was not in my plan but Thank you Lord for changing my plans, she is such a blessing! We see the results of some things that happen right away and others not. I have some questions for God when I see him about some things that have happened in my life 🙂 at that point it won’t matter however! I am praying “more of you Lord and less of me” these days since realizing that he knows best every time I look at my “unexpected blessing,” my new baby girl! Melissa

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