Letting go of Control

by Malana Barton

I wish I knew how this story would end, how it would all turn out, for each of us. If only I knew what would happen in the next chapter.If this dream comes true or if this foretold disaster comes to pass.

Then I’d be alright.

I could march on with the confidence of knowing.

Have you ever though like that? Wanting just a little extra certainty of the future, perhaps especially nowadays as the world has spun out of our control.

I have — at least to some degree. I’ve stood, head tipped to the stars hoping for a little assurance of a steady tomorrow. I’ve even thought, If only I knew this would turn out okay, then it would be so much easier to trust God!

But I’m afraid that isn’t trust.

Trust is a beautiful childlike assurance in a strength other than your own… and letting go of your own control.

Try as we might, we are never going to know what happens in our tomorrows. Oh, we can plan.

But everything is exposed to change. Weather can change, people can change. Laws can change.

But God never changes. And really, that’s enough to know.

We don’t need to know if so and so will meet expectations or if such and such will happen to us when we know that the God of all time holds our future.

I’ve always loved knowing things. Perhaps not in an over the top controlling way, but still. I like details. Really, it is just a part of my personality, and by itself not a bad thing — until that desire to know draws swords against trust.

Trusting God means to rely on, take confidence in, His ability, His strength, His knowledge — Not your own.

You are not the author of this story.

You can hand yourself over to your Creator with the assurance that He has every day of your life planned out before you live it. (Psalms 139: 16) You have no need to worry about any of them.

Trusting God leaves us free to live in the present moment of this wonderful journey.

Cast off the need to know, to over prepare, the habit of worrying about the future too much to live in the present, give it all to God and trust Him to fulfill his promise.

“Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

God does not make empty promises. He does not do abandonment. (Deuteronomy 31: 8)

Sometimes we hear Bible verses so often or for so long we forget to take to heart their amazing significances. Proverbs 3 is a promise not to be taken lightly. He promises to make our paths straight! He tells us to trust Him.

He has got all of this in the palm of his hand, He is your author and believe me, He does not want you worrying your way through this Story.

Even when you have times like Piper from the Voyage of the Sandpiper, when it seems nothing is going right. She is miles from home and miles further from her mother, who fights tuberculosis in Switzerland. Piper’s mother writes to her:

“I know this is not what we planned, but I want you to know that I completely trust God in this matter, though my own heart is a bit shaken at the moment. I wish you could have come too, but this is simply not a place for children. You must know that things are not always as they seem.

God’s plan for our lives is not always what we want. Whatever happens, I want you to know that I love you and God loves you too. Agatha darling, no matter what anyone may say, don’t give up hope.”

Expert from the Voyage of the Sandpiper.

Don’t give up hope.

This is not your battle, but God’s. He is only waiting for your trust.

Trusting can be scary. I hear you. It can feel so much like giving up. And in a way, it is. Giving up your control. But not to no one, not for no reason.

And not in your own strength. We can’t do any of this by ourselves. Our ‘in our own strength’ attempts are destined for eventual failure. But our God promises to lead us, give us strength to do all things through Him.

It can be a daunting first step, one where we may pause and say, how do I even do this in the first place? Because as much as trust can be patted down to a basic fundament of Christian living, it is so much bigger, so much more beautiful.

A wise woman once told me, “We trust our friends because we have gotten to know them, to love them, found them dependable. It is the same way with God, if we find ourselves struggling to trust Him, it’s likely because He feels unknown to us.”

I might be paraphrasing, but her point was — and mine is — trust grows as you get to know God.

Let me encourage you to take your cares to Him, talk to Him, spend time within the words of the Bible. And you will find we have no reason to ever doubt our God.

After a while of Piper spending time reading her Bible and giving her cares to God, her friend Peter notices something different about her. Her reply to him?

“I’m trying to consciously make an effort to let go of my need to know the future and instead trust God for the best.”

Piper goes from seeing hope as a bitter waste of time, to learning that God has a beautiful plan for her life. He is in control of what happens to her mother, to her, and all of the world as it spins close to war. She realizes there is nothing her worry can do, nothing that she can control.

And once she reaches that point, it is only a matter of time before she learns that God does have all things in control. And that there is reason to hope.

Corrie ten Boom put it beautifully: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may

overflow with hope by the power of the Holy spirit. ‘

Romans 15:13

In Him,

Malana

Malana Rei Barton, Wiltshire UK
Hope House Press 2022 Intern

4 thoughts on “Letting go of Control

  1. Thank you for this, Malana! Such a wonderful reminder! I love that last quote. Charles Spurgeon once said, “the sovereignty of God is the pillow on which I lay my head at night.” How good it is to know our God is in control!

    Like

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