Relinquishing Control


I prayed the following prayer several mornings ago, “Lord, thank you for another day. Thank you that I can trust you fully…” I continued journaling but heard a quiet whisper in my spirit, “But do you really trust me?” I ignored the whisper as I continued praying thanks to the Lord but the whisper wouldn’t go away. The Lord was asking me if I really trusted Him.

Control. You see, this is something I long to have, I cling to, and find comfort in way too often. I want to control my day, my schedule, my routine, my husband, and my circumstances. Oftentimes I feel I am able to do so — I am able to control how much I get done in a day because I fight to make sure everything gets checked off my to-do list. Yet, there are other days when the Lord sweetly and gently reminds me that although it can feel like I have everything under control, it only takes one small thing to knock everything off track. When I surrender and trust the Lord in everything, my desire for control disappears and I am able to rest.

Last week my husband and I had looked at a house we really liked and we decided to make an offer on it. We were excited and nervous about the possibility of moving but the excitement didn’t last long as we quickly heard that there were already multiple offers on the house and several were over listing price. I felt that desire for control creeping up in me again as I heard that news. Two days later the Lord provided me with one of those days again as I received some bad news from the doctor. I am generally a pretty healthy person, I try to eat right, exercise, and have tried to follow the rules when it comes to pregnancy the past 8 months. Yet, receiving some news from the doctor that was unexpected and completely out of my control reminded me that we can do all the right things and yet we, in our own strength, truly have no control.

About a year ago my family decided to make Psalm 103 a part of our family mission statement. The beginning goes like this :

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psa. 103:1-5)

It is the Lord who provides, heals, redeems, crowns, and satisfies. So why do I so often try to get it all done on my own? I try to provide for myself by working hard and putting my best foot forward. I try to heal myself by following all the “rules” given to me. I try to redeem myself by checking my quiet time off my list, going to church each week, and volunteering.

Psalm 103 goes on to say:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psa. 103:11-14)

God knows how we are made — He was the potter. God knows we came from the dust, we are frail, easily falling into temptations and the ways of this world. I am reminded through this Psalm of my need for the Lord. Although my flesh doesn’t like to admit where I am weak, although my flesh doesn’t like boundaries and rules to protect me from the sins I so easily fall into, I know that I need them. How great is our God that it is He who forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, and satisfies me as His daughter. May I humble myself before the Lord and boast in my weakness. I am thankful that I am weak because He is strong. I can cry out to the Lord in my despair, sadness, and weakness and confess that I cannot do it on my own.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant, and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psa. 103:17-19)

I am thankful today that God rules over all. That He cares about my life — from the smallest detail of my life to the bigger things like loving the baby in my womb more than I do. I am also thankful that He is patient and gentle to remind me that my job is to trust Him, to relinquish control, and to trust that His kingdom rules over all.

Standing on the Word

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