“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
As I board the plane to Jamaica, I think about what God has really been teaching me over the past month or so. I am a control guy. I like to be in control, plan out every situation, I’m very organized, you know – one of “those” people. I don’t even like to ride in a car with someone else driving, so you can imagine what I feel like when I’m riding in a plane and they won’t let me in the cockpit no matter how hard I bang on the door!
But there have been several situations in my life recently where I have had no control. This generally creates a lot of stress in me, because I don’t think the situation will turn out positively for me unless I can do something by sheer force of will to make it come out the way I want. And since there will always be circumstances in your life that are outside of your control, the only thing I was able to do is worry. And I have turned into a great worrier – one of the best – throughout the years. But God is teaching me that instead of worrying, I need to leave those things that I cannot control at the foot of the cross. He will take care of them and work them all for my ultimate good. (Romans 8:28) So I have recently started the practice of kneeling when I pray in the morning. Kneeling helps me to remind myself through a physical motion that I am not in control – I am a servant of my master, Jesus Christ. And as I pray, I tell God all of the things that I have going on that I might be starting to worry about and I imagine just leaving those things at His feet.
My wife’s surgery and recovery is one of those situations. This trip to Jamaica is another – lots of things are outside my control. Where I used to worry about those things, which made me more tense and more impatient, I now am getting better (I’m not all the way there yet certainly!) at being less stressed, more patient and much more enjoyable to be around. It’s definitely not something that comes naturally for me, and it’s not like I can pray about it once and everything is settled. I have to bring the same things daily to the Lord and remind myself over and over that He has them taken care of.
There’s a song I love that is playing right now on Christian radio called “Multiplied” by NeedToBreathe. The lyrics that really make the song personal for me say this: “God of mercy, sweet love of mine; I have surrendered to Your design.” That’s what I try to do daily – kneel before the Lord and surrender to His design for my life – whatever that may be. I surrender my control and trust that God is good and has it all taken care of. I’m making this song my theme song for this Jamaica trip. It’s not reggae, but it does have a cool bongo beat. That’s close enough for me.