Control Freak

My 10-year-old son, just like his mom, loves to fix things.  It's a great skill to have.  He's perfected the art of identifying there is a problem, taking an item apart...then not being quite sure how to put it back together.  We have two weed eaters in the garage he worked on last week that are still torn up, and the parts of both are sitting together. Not only do we get to figure out how to fix each one, we first must determine which parts belong to which unit.  What a mess!

My desire to fix things and solve problems extends beyond sinks and weed eaters.  It goes into the everyday decisions of my life.  I have this need to be a problem solver, and I often go about the job of handling my own crises, then handing God a pile of tools and parts to help me sort out the mess when I FINALLY admit I can't do it by myself.  What conviction he has placed upon me about this!

A lesson from Deuteronomy 8 was a reminder in a week I have been struggling very hard with this.  Its the story of the Israelites and how they complain about being in the wilderness after being freed from captivity. 

 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

I've wrestled with God for many years about my control attitude...trying to run my own life, and expecting God to work within my boundaries.  I am awed at the abundance he gave even in that frame of mind.  My heart grew weary of the struggle, and in a sincere prayer several months ago, I made a firm commitment to "whatever, God."  Whatever you want for me...that is what I will do.  I gave up my control.  I handed him my tools, my parts and said "fix it."   There as been a tremendous peace that has come as a result of that prayer. 

Letting go of a stronghold has not been easy.  At the first sign of trouble, that desire to go back to the old way is so tempting.  That peace of knowing I've been following the path and not leading the way has come with some of the hardest emotional struggles I have had to face.  Bumps in the road have made the fix it girl inside me want to jump up and grab my toolbox.  I've begged and complained and asked the typical three-year-old question, "why"?  And on other days, "why not?"  It's a daily battle.

Some of the greatest rewards come from the hardest lessons learned. 

God gives us talents and ability to do great things, and he provides success to our efforts.  Let us not forget it is his hands that provide for our success, and not ours.  Through this, he is glorified and not ourselves. 

Lord, thank you for taking this fix-it girl by the hand and leading me along the path you intend for me.  Please remind me to surrender to you first and ask for direction before I take off running with a solution.  Thank you for the abundance you provide even in the midst of the wilderness. 


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