How powerful are we?
I mean, really... how much control do we ever really have over the events of our day, month, year, life? We work to become "financially secure;" but all it takes is one medical or legal or employment-related crisis to drain our bank accounts. We feel good about our health; but just one fall, one car accident, one biopsy can change everything. We invest money, time, emotion, etc. into a marriage or a family; but death, illness, or tragedy could strike at any time and reduce it to rubble.
Especially in America, one of the most prosperous and individually empowering cultures in the world, I think we fall victim to the illusion that we are in control and that we can "fix" things - sometimes even people - to become the way we want them to be. I have a dear friend whose grown child is facing the possibility of divorce in a marriage that's only just started. He confesses that he is tempted to get involved, exercise influence, and make some things happen to save this marriage. How much power does he really have in this? Is it any different with the smaller circumstances of life? I confess that my own impulses to control are just as notorious and troubling. But my friend and I are not alone in learning this lesson.
Job had a wife, kids, cash, property, friends, power, status, integrity, spirituality, etc. Then he lost everything... everything except his God. Though he questioned His justice... He still had God. That is the lesson we learn... that we are sheep - helpless, hopeless, relatively simple-minded, defenseless, sheep - wihtout great power to sustain ourselves, but with a Great Shepherd who can.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 says, "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God, not that we are capable in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our capability is from God."
King David writes, "He Himself knows our frame; His is mindful that we are but dust" (Psalm 103:14).
James, the brother of Jesus, adds, "You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).
Even as I search for my next step regarding a job, a church, and a ministry, I realize that I am not in control. So when God asks me to surrender, He isn't asking me to surrender control... I don't have that anyway. No, He's asking me to surrender my illusion of control. Everytime He says, "Peace, be still. Wait on Me." He's telling me to sit down in opposition to that illusion.
"Thanks Lord. I needed that."