Control (Or Lack Thereof)

Sunday, December 29, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus I Come"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 51:10-12 – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (NIV)

Recently, I felt like I had totally and completely lost control over every aspect of my life. Even though I didn't really realize what was happening, I had become angry at everything and everyone (including myself), and to be honest, with God as well. It seemed that everything I did and said was wrong and misinterpreted. I felt wounded and hurt.

Unfortunately and regrettably, I turned into a "wounder" myself and lashed out at others who did not deserve it.

I am not trying to make excuses for my own behaviour; I messed up badly. However, God continues to teach us, if we let Him. In no uncertain terms, He let me know that I was wrong in the way that I had (over) reacted, and that I had sinned (once again). I prayerfully asked Him to forgive me, and I know that He has. I pray that the others whom I have hurt will also forgive me.

All this is leading me to some thoughts that I want to pass on. I said that I felt out of control, but after thinking about it, are we ever really in control?

  • We cannot control other people, how they see things, how they interpret things, how they feel about things, or where they are coming from.
  • We may not understand their situations, or why they react the way they do.
  • What is important to us may not be what is important to someone else.

We just can't know or truly understand. But God knows — God understands.

People are people, and all are fallible. We can't see the whole picture — only God can, and only God is truly in control. We need to turn to Him at all times and in all circumstances. He is our only hope.

We are wonderfully made by God, and we are all uniquely different. Right now, we are all sinners, but nonetheless, we are also one family in Christ. We may not agree with what others are doing or saying, and they may not agree with what we are doing or saying, and often, whether we mean to or not, we end up hurting each other. However, that doesn't mean that we stop loving or caring for one another. We usually can't fix people and their situations — but we can be there. Sometimes, all we can do is listen and prayerfully lift each other up to the Lord.

Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'" (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Your grace and mercy, for the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ, for all the things You do, and for the people whom You have placed in our lives. Above all, we thank You for the love that You show us every day. Help us to accept Your gifts of love, grace, and faith, and help us to share them with all those around us. We ask that You may grant us the compassion, acceptance, and love to reach out to one another with a listening ear, an open mind, and a loving heart. For Jesus' sake, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Jan Korvemaker
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very inspiring message.

    Thanks Jan for sharing.

    I enjoyed your thoughts. Thank heaven God is in control and not us.

    Your message was a good one for me to “hear” today. Thanks.

    Thank Jan.
    May 2014 be a great year ahead for you.

    GOOD WRITING Jan, and prayerful thoughts. You have been led by God to write this.

    Inspired Jan. Thank you for sharing this. It is So applicable right today for me and my family!

    Thank you so much for sharing. What you wrote seems meant for me. I will print it off now to reread for the next few days and learn.

    Thank you for a devotional that is very timely. You are not alone. We are truly blessed because God has given us the assurance that He will never forsake us.

    Love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your sole with all your mind (and all your strength). I like to say the last — for sometimes I do lack strength!

    Jan, thank you for such a moving message. I feel I could have written it myself as I struggle daily to be worthy of God’s love. I pray for comfort and peace for you. Blessings.

    Good morning Jan! I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your wonderfully written devotional. How beautiful and kind it was.
    Thank you.

    Thank you for your openness and insight.
    The prayer at the end of the study was spot on.

    Thanks! Today’s devotional actually ‘hit the spot for me.’ It is just what I needed at this time. Thanks for sharing and reiterating that God is the only one who is in control.

    Thank you and God bless you for this devotional. It hit so close to home for me, concerning one of my daughters and her attitude towards her siblings.
    She needs our prayers, and I thank you for your message today.
    Again, God bless you for your help and prayers.

    Dear Jan,
    Thank you for your kind and beautiful words…of truth and compassion.
    Oh, that we can understand these passages and live by these with God’s blessings and Guidance every day. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you for sending the devotional you wrote. I know it is God working through you – but it is a partnership, and you do your part very well and you are very good at giving God the glory. Well done!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Dear Jan,
    Thank you for sharing re: a difficult time in your life. Thank God you were able to overcome with the Lord’s help. By sharing you have helped someone in the same situation. May God richly bless you.
    (California, USA)

    Dear Jan;
    Your devotional couldn’t have come at a better time than this morning. I, too, have been angry and lashing out out of frustration. The points that you make are good ones that I will print out and put in an appropriate place for me to look at whenever I feel the urge to lash out. Thank you again. May God continue to grant you the words to speak on behalf of Him.

    Dear Jan, as I read this I was thinking of my situation and thanking God that I am at least for now being able to “zip my lip” but nevertheless feeling all those pressures. To my delight when I got to the bottom I saw your name. We do have to keep our lines open for spiritual guidance, because without that we could be swept away into the stream of people who are lost in this world. I don’t know if that makes sense to you as sometime inner feelings are inexpressible.

    Hi Jan – I read your devotional today and wanted to thank you for writing this. It is so true! It has taken me quite a while to realize that I should not over-react or take things personally that are said to me by my adult son. I love him, but can’t understand his thinking, feelings or actions most of the time. I have learned (the hard way) that I must “accept what I cannot change”. I say the Serenity prayer to myself quite often. I know that my son has become a bitter and cynical person and tends to blame everyone else for the things that have happened to him — even though this is not true. I pray that some day he will change and find faith and happiness in his life! Blessings.

    Good Morning, Jan
    It was a treat to see your name on today’s devotional! Please continue to write!
    It was beautifully written and very meaningful to me as I recently went through feelings of being rejected because of something I had done. After quite some time of asking forgiveness for myself and praying for others involved I feel that God has softened their hearts and an understanding has been reached and my actions are accepted.
    Sometimes life can be harsh and we all look at things from a different perspective. Being forgiven and continuing to act in a loving Christian manner is working for me.
    I am truly blessed to be with my children and their loved ones.
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

    I’ve been in the same boat myself and my daughter just went through this and is going through this. Thank God for forgiveness. I’ve enjoyed we also have to forgive God sometimes for the things He allows.

    Am really moved by the word of God.

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