If you have young children, it is quite likely that when you read the title of this blog, visions of Jr. Asparagus, Franken-celery, Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato danced in your head. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, keep reading anyway.
Just the other day, I was talking to a girlfriend who was having a terrible time. She told me that she could barely drag herself out of bed. Everything in her life was hard or disappointing and she was so discouraged she just wanted to hide under the blankets and cry.
I felt badly for my friend – I’ve had a lot of times of discouragement, fear and frustration. The more I listened to her, however, the more I was hearing a pattern. My friend – who has a heart the size of Texas – was having somewhat of a pity party. This person wasn’t doing what they should and the consequences were affecting my friend. She and her husband were not seeing eye to eye so he was unfair, there were bills to pay so other things were getting put off.
Nothing in her life was working out as she planned and as more and more control slipped through her fingers, the more stressed she became. Fighting for control, especially for those things which were not hers to control, was overwhelming her. She felt angry, disappointed, disconnected and betrayed. The worse she felt, the more she tried to gain control. It was a vicious circle in which she consistently beat herself up with no end in sight.
When her tale had finally unfolded, I asked her what she thought she could do about each situation. After a pause, she sniffed and cried, “Nothing!” Aha! Now we were getting somewhere.
One of the biggest tools used against Christians is the lie that somehow they are supposed to be able to take care of themselves. I lived most of my life for myself and I can honestly say that the thing over which I had most control was not being able to do everything myself. The burden of guilt and self-pity that we carry when we are deceived into thinking that we should be able to control all of the situations around us is a crushing load.
It robs us of our joy and it blinds us to all of the amazing ways that God is working in our lives.
One of the ‘problems’ my friend was having was that when she took out the snowblower to plow the driveway – in order to be a blessing for her husband – a neighbour came over and told her that she was using it incorrectly. She fixed the issue and started again, only to have a belt break. In recalling the incident, she lamented over her husband’s upcoming anger and her lack of self worth as she ‘just couldn’t do anything right’.
Are you feeling for her yet? Some days just seem to go like that.
We continued to chat and I twisted the situation around a little bit on her. I challenged her with God’s role in having brought the neighbour over to show her what she was doing wrong so that she could fix it. I reminded her that her husband was very mechanically inclined and replacing a belt wasn’t going to cost him a moment’s sleep. I praised God for her that her neighbour had a snowblower of his own and cheerfully finished plowing out her driveway so not only was her husband going to be blessed but God, through the neighbour, blessed her as well.
Last year was a hard year for me. My mom got cancer – twice. Homeschooling was a bigger challenge than normal. My husband and I had a variety of struggles. The thing that sustained me through the difficult times? “My God is bigger than the Boogie Man. He’s bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV. God is bigger than the Boogie Man and He’s watching out for you and me!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jd4qnxj7D0
Whether your Boogie man is self-worth, appearance, financial status, race, intelligence, job, children, it just doesn’t matter. God is bigger. God is stronger. God is standing by waiting for you to let Him help. Starting right now, I encourage you to stop trying to be in control. That’s not your job. Your job is to do your best for God’s glory. You can’t make anyone else do anything. If what is before you is not what you think it should be, take it to God in prayer and let Him be in control of your life.
Be still and know that I am God.