I saw it first in a photo of a collage, this group of magazine clippings pasted into one large picture.
That one phrase caught my attention: “Control is for the Timid"
So I googled it.
It originates with an advertisement for some kind of off road vehicle.
"Control is for the timid" sounds like an adventure is just waiting to happen, and if you are the kind of person who has to be in control, you are just going to miss out on all the excitement.
In some ways I think they’re actually on to something there.
There are two lies we believe when it comes to control.
That we need it and that we have it.
I spent a long time thinking I was in control.
Trying to be sure that everyone was safe.
That everything was working as it should in my life.
I made lots of plans, and there were some good ones!
But honestly? Sometimes, your plan does not work like you want it to.
Sometimes you have to abandon your plan altogether and go to Plan B.
For instance, yesterday I planned to drive back home over a certain bridge.
There was a problem though. I did not turn on the right road to do that. I turned onto a one-way street with several lanes of traffic all going in the opposite direction than the one I desired to travel at that time.
I made a wrong turn and ended up going the wrong way!
My goal had to change and it had to change quickly.
There was no way I could get over that bridge going down that road I had found myself on then.
In fact, there was no way I could continue going in the direction I desired on that road at all!
It was just an impossible situation.
What do you do then?
How do you cope?
When your best ideas or plans have to change?
Thankfully for me, the traffic quickly understood my dilemma, and did what they could to help. They stopped.
Only then could I move my car into the opposite direction of these very patient and kind drivers and continue down a different road.
A different road, but the right road.
No one ever even honked.
For which I will be eternally grateful :-)
For me, Plan B worked and worked very well.
I was able to finally get over the bridge and get home.
That plan had to change because of my mistake, but I was able to see my plan succeed by turning around and going in the right direction. I had to have help to do that, and found the help in some very surprising places. But regardless, the help was there when I needed it.
There are times when your Plan B doesn’t work either, and you are left out there with no idea what you need to do.
Those times when there is no one to help direct your path at that moment… or the next.
Sometimes... you have to give up your plans and even your dreams entirely.
What do you do then?
How do you cope?
When you realize you never had control anyway?
I remember the exact moment and place when it first hit me that I couldn’t fix something.
That it was completely out of my control.
That there was nothing I could do.
There was nothing anyone else could do either.
I remember it because I knew exactly at that moment, that God was not surprised by this at all.
That He would not just handle it, but He would handle me in it.
And that was what gave me peace.
This was the first time I didn’t ask Him to fix something, but I asked Him just to hold me through it.
My heart was breaking as I admitted to God that I was tired.
Tired of trying to do in my life what I could not do.
What I never could do… and it was ok with me.
I had finally accepted the words I had sung since childhood….
That I am weak.
And He is strong.
I think as Christians, sometimes we live under some illusions.
One is that we can create strength. That being strong is good and weak is bad.
The other is that being broken is weak… which we think is bad
But God tells us that He is most glorified when we are both of those… weak and broken.
Because only then do others see the peace in our life coming from somewhere outside of ourselves.
Because we are weak and helpless.
I knew that most on the night I got the phone call.
“There’s been an accident… I’m ok, but my arm is hurt and the truck is gone”
While I was able to somehow stay calm, the questions whirled through my head.
How bad is he hurt? Will it be a long recovery. Will he be able to recover at all?
And then he said to me. “When you see the truck, you will know God is taking care of us”.
So remember when you realize, when it hits you, that being in control is not realistic.
There may be a Plan B.
And God will provide just the right people at just the right time to help you achieve that plan. Remember that you are in good hands.
And if there are no other plans in view?
When you feel like your life is reeling around you?
Remember then that You are still loved.
Still cared for by a God who is very much in control.
And He is good enough and God enough to be the ONE in control!
Anyway, “Control is for the Timid”. And that’s a good thing.
Because it’s when we are timid, or weak, or broken that we can discover it is Who we put in control that makes the difference for the most exciting ride and life ever!
II Cor. 12:8-10
Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me.
But He said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness"
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may reside in me.
So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures,
because of Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Your Hands by JJ Heller
From "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore
talking about a time in her life when there were so many transitions, she said,
"As I walked out to the car, I looked up and inquired,
'Could I have one thing around this place I can count on?'
As I got in the car, I sensed the Father speak His Word to my heart.
'Beth, I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.' "
I would like to honor a very special lady today by closing with a quote
she used in every Gateway to Joy radio program she recorded:
"You are loved with an everlasting love. And underneath are the everlasting arms"