As my infection continued to improve and four weeks of antibiotics were working, something else became clear to me. One of the primary reasons we work so hard as humans to take control, to keep control, is fear. I have never seen us, as a society, as a culture, more fearful than we are today. Fear about COVID or managing childcare, political fears, and worries about jobs, financial insecurity, and the education of our kids, all have gripped our world.
Fear is paralyzing. It robs us of life; of anticipating what God wants to do in our lives. We don’t use our gifts and talents as God designed when we live in fear. In fear we suddenly find ourselves desperately grasping for control. It’s in our human DNA. Our propensity is to be in control, to take control, to keep control. We’ve done this from the beginning of time. Very early in God’s story in scripture we see that God has designed the universe so that the Earth and humans revolve around his control, God’s timing, plans, character, his love, beauty and creativity. Instead, what humans did at the very beginning of the story was put themselves (ourselves) at the center. We didn’t completely abandon God. The story of humanity isn’t that we just got rid of God. We still needed him. We just needed God to revolve around our plan, our timing, our control. Then the story of the Old Testament shows our human tendency to call out to God in emergencies. We cry out to God in crisis. We’ve done that pretty much in every culture throughout history. When times are desperate enough, we suddenly need God. But the world wasn’t created to work that way. And so, in God’s love, he works in the circumstances of our lives -- all of our lives -- to draw us, and to keep us revolving around his plan; around what he wants to do and his agenda.
He’s not doing it to hurt us. God is doing it to pull us into him, to draw us into trust and dependence on him. Dependence on his love, on his view of the world, his perspective on us loving our neighbors, loving our enemies; dependence on God’s character. God wants to use our gifts and talents, not just for ourselves and our own future, but more importantly for others. He’s done it all throughout his story in scripture. He’s done this throughout history. There are times when God will level set us in order to loosen our control on our own life so that we give him more control. On Day 3, we talked about how God doesn’t create bad and didn’t break our world. Yet he often uses the broken things of this world in our lives for good. I’m convinced God is using the chaos of our world to compel us to let go of control. He knows for us to give control of our lives to him and his plan is how we live into the future of beauty and the good he has for us. Releasing your fear can only happen when you are confident that he, in fact, is the one in control.