One of the moments in my life where I was the most scared by my lack of being able to control the outcome was during the birth of Jonah. He was born via emergency c-section due to complications during delivery. The 5-7 minutes I spent waiting outside the operating room doors was agonizing. Would Missy be okay, would Jonah be okay? Waiting, waiting, waiting…it seemed like forever. It was a scary place to sit and know there was absolutely nothing you could do to make sure everything was going to be okay. Once everything was okay and everyone was healthy, I remember looking back toward those doors and seeing another guy sitting in that same seat with a look of fear on his face…I could relate. I wonder how many guys have sat in that same place and thought about the same things I did…some to have good outcomes and others not.
We like control. There is value in being able to predict an outcome. We don’t like the unknown or feeling like something is beyond our reach our out of our control. It can be a scary place to be. But ultimately in this life we don’t call the shots. We can plan and even try to micromanage our lives but ultimately we don’t have the authority to control the outcomes of the most crucial parts of our lives. Often God takes us a different direction that at first challenges our notions of what is good. Only in hindsight do we see his plan is better, which helps us better trust his control of our lives the next time.
One of the toughest things we are called to do in scripture is to give up control:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” – Romans 12:1
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3