Debbie Salter Goodwin
Out of Control: Catastrophe or Opportunity?
What do you do when someone or some-thing has control over your life?
We’ve felt this angst with the Pandemic. Even if we did everything from masking to social distancing to self-quarantine; we still felt out of control of our own safety and our own lives. The Pandemic had control over our church attendance, our family gatherings, our school experiences, our work places, our medical visits, not to mention our social interactions. It left us out of control.
How did you respond? Over control in other areas? Super cleaning and organizing? Baking or binging?
Out of control does not show our best side even when it produces good results.
I am encouraged in the story of Sarah where she was completely out of control. (see Genesis 12:10-20) Abram took her with him to Egypt to purchase food that would save them from the drought in Canaan. He feared that the powerful Pharaoh would kill him and keep Sarah for himself. So he concocted a plan: tell Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister. Well, half the truth. They shared the same father but different mother. (Gen. 20:12)
No matter how you look at this strategy, it is flawed from the beginning. It may have kept them both safe at first, but it did not promise they would leave Egypt together!
God always has a bigger plan than we can imagine. His plan included Sarai as much as it included Abram. God stepped in and used resources neither had to protect His plan and Abram and Sarai’s part in it. He sent plagues to Pharoah’s household.
Don’t miss this. God got Pharoah’s attention before he got Abram’s! Pharoah forced Abram’s honesty. The truth freed Sarai. In her most vulnerable circumstance, God rescued Sarai to protect her place in God’s plan.
Does that mean that God will always rescue us in our out-of-control situations? No. Instead it means that God will always show up with the resources that will make the biggest difference.
Out of control is an oxymoron for Christians. Whenever we are out of control; God isn’t. Nothing is ever out of control for God.
So how has God shown up for you in this Pandemic? Where has he protected, directed, empowered, companioned, enlightened, enriched, and loved you? For if we miss His reaching for us in this time, we will miss how He wanted this time to shape us for what is next.
This is truth for a pandemic, a cancer diagnosis, an unwanted divorce, or any other loss that tries to tell you otherwise. Wait for God to act before you do. Wait for God to bring resources before you interject your best idea. Wait for God to show where His control makes the biggest difference.
Just wait. Then, you can live within God’s resourceful and unfailing control. Always