Nothing is more exhausting than trying to be the “engineer” of our lives and our circumstances. It is a lack of God-fidence. Maybe we are putting ourselves in God’s place trying to, or thinking we can, hold the universe in place and humans as well. When things are not going well in our lives or in the lives of ones we love, we often swallow the lie…hook, line and sinker…that we are responsible.
>That somehow it is up to us to fix, to solve or help the situation.<
Trying to be in control or taking things into our own hands and adopting the attitude that it is up to us….is emotionally and physically dangerous.
Let’s face it, we can be control freaks. We want to control our circumstances. We want to control others. And ultimately we want to control God Himself. Engineering outcomes. It’s nothing more than a futile attempt at controlling everyone and everything. But God hasn’t called us to be God. He has called us to be ourselves. To be His children….with a surrendering and trust in Him.
One of the best things I have done in my adult life is to have a true surrendering of things to God that are not my responsibility. My best attempts at orchestrating the behavior of others or the outcomes of many situations have failed miserably. It took several years for the transition to occur….to understand…the concept of “dropping my hands!” Taking everything to God in prayer…especially the things I was not responsible for. Of course there is personal responsibility as a wife, daughter, mother, friend, etc….but a realization of going to God with every situation in my life and handing it to Him…seeking Him…. and coming to an understanding that many, many times I was taking ownership of things that were NOT my responsibility.
For example, when our children become adults, the transition is hard, very hard. But, at what point in time are they responsible for their behavior, choices and outcomes? Much earlier than I realized! As a mom, God has taught me to continue to lead by example. Once a mom always a mom. But, at a certain time they are responsible not me. As far as love and concern? That “invisible umbilical cord” will always be there. But the mindset of mentally carrying them in my belly when they are responsible and older is not something God intended!
In Proverbs 4:23 we are told, “Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flow from it.” Part of guarding your heart is coming to a realization of what “my/your” heart is responsible for. Many times the lines become blurred and confused, especially with the people closest to us. Difficult circumstances, unless taken to God continually and allowing Him to show us our part and His, is the perfect time for Satan to whisper words of:
“This is your fault.”
“You are responsible.”
“If you had only done this!”
“You can change their heart and mind if you do this!”
Take it from me…only God can change someone’s choices, mind, attitude, and direction when they become an adult. Of course as parents, we are to train and influence our children. But there comes an age of accountability of themselves to a holy God and a realization that it is not intended for us to control or be responsible for another adult.
Actually….sometimes the thing we want to control, because of the pain that surrounds the people or the situation, is the very thing God wants us to drop our hands in….so that…HE can do his work.
If we keep trying to intervene and will and act according to what we think “our good purpose is,” it directly delays God’s ability to work in the situation. Some have to hit rock bottom and be in the most dire of situations to surrender themselves to God. Maybe a dark pit or being homeless is exactly where God has to take them in order for them to change.
Do not forget the story in scripture of the young adult who wanted his inheritance and wanted to go on his own way. The father gave it to him and “dropped his hands!” The young adult ended up “eating with the pigs” before he realized where he was. What happened? He had a divine moment. A realization of where he was in life. Neither his daddy nor his momma showed him…or told him….His divine situation showed him.
This story of the prodigal son is found in Luke 15:11-32. Here is the son’s perspective in verses 16-20, “He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father….”
Point of post…sometimes…a “wallowing with the pigs” is God’s plan to change the trajectory of someones’s life. Our human intervention could delay what God intends for them to learn apart from us. Trusting God can help your brain, and especially your heart, lose dangerous weight. It can lighten your load but more importantly, it can lighten your days and “Light your walk with Christ.”
Pray today–filter situations in your life through God’s hands to see if you need to “drop your hands!” in some area. Understand, God has the Ph.D. in the engineering of all lives. WE do not. Let the Doc go to work. Do your job which may require you to sit patiently in the waiting room.
When Solomon gave a prayer of dedication, he prayed for what may come for the people. There may be someone who needs you to pray this prayer for them today. 2 Chronicles 6:29-31, “Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men), that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.”