Control

I was reading a post today where the author was agonizing over the situation in Haiti.  One reason it bothered her so much was because she knew the parents there must feel that they have little control over their children’s lives right now.  Little control over what they will eat, where they will live, what will happen to them.  One paragraph stuck out to me:

But what I really wish I could give to Haitians today is something I cannot donate: control over their own lives. My worst fear when it comes to my own children and family is that something will happen to them that I am powerless to stop. I’ve felt it in airplanes and in cars and on the other rare moments in which I have to relinquish control to someone or something else. It doesn’t happen often, because most of the time–nearly all of the time–I feel command over my family’s well-being. I feel able to protect them and care for them, and I know my husband feels able to clothe them and feed them.

This is something I struggle with in regards to my own family.  I like to be in control.  I absolutely hate following my children if they’re riding in a car with someone else.  I don’t like other people picking them up from school, because they have to drive on some less-than-ideal roads.  I won’t leave them with teenaged babysitters.  I often feel that if I am in control, they are safe, and they’ll be “okay.”

And yet, that’s not how it works, is it?  Any control I may imagine I have over their “okayness” is purely delusional.  I can’t stop them from getting sick.  I can’t protect them from an awkward fall from the monkey bars.  I can’t prevent a van from blowing a red light and t-boning us as we drive through an intersection.  As much as I may feel that I’m in control, I’m not.  And I never have been.

So what do I do with that knowledge?  Do I cocoon us?  Tether them permanently to my apron strings?  Or do I believe that there is One who is in control and trust that He knows what He’s doing?  If I truly believe that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, do I need to worry about being in control?  Giving up that control and trusting in God doesn’t mean that everything is going to turn out the way I’d choose or that my family and I won’t experience pain.  But it does give me courage to loosen my white-knuckled grip on my children, believing that whatever happens, it will be okay. 

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Again, it doesn’t mean that God is going to bring a pain-free life.  It means that he takes all things — good and bad– and uses them for our benefit.  That’s where I put my trust.

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~ by NinjaPrincess on January 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “Control”

  1. I wish blogs had a LIKE button! 😉 That’s mostly why I’m afraid to fly – it’s the lack of control….as if I had any control in any other situation!

  2. Beautifully said and I fully agree. I can totally relate… to not wanting others to drive them and to knowing that I can’t hold a death grip on them forever. Can you imagine being a parent without knowing the hope of Christ? I can’t. The thought is terrifying!

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