by Kristine Brown @kristinebrown43
“They will not fear bad news. Their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
I watched him climb the 3-foot retaining wall at the park, his legs pushing his stocky frame upward. As he stood on the makeshift balance beam, arms stretched out wide, my mom instincts kicked into high gear. I rushed to hold my five-year-old’s hand, helping him walk safely to the end of the wall.
I remember hearing my husband chuckle, watching me rush to offer support that wasn’t even needed. “The wall’s only 3-feet high,” he said. “What’s the worst that could happen?” He knew this wasn’t the only time I had unnecessarily run to my son’s rescue.
I adored my God-given calling to be a mom: loving him, caring for him, protecting him. It was my greatest joy. But in my zeal to keep him safe, was I controlling too much? My husband knew something I had yet to learn. If I didn’t let him try on his own, he wouldn’t know how to pick himself up after a fall. I needed to let go.
Parenting isn’t the only place I crave control. Whether it’s controlling my circumstances, plans, or other people, it’s easy for me to excuse away my controlling habits. I’m tempted to say, “That’s just who I am. A go-getter. An organizer. Someone who takes charge.” But there was much more behind my inability to let go.
Control is first revealed in Scripture in Genesis chapter 3, when Eve and Adam faced consequences for eating the forbidden fruit. God spoke to Eve and said, “And you will desire to control your husband…” (Gen. 3:16 NIV).
Could it be that the struggle with our need to control began when sin entered the world? One thing is certain. When I remove the mask of control, I reveal insecurities I’d rather not see. Things like fear, worry, and the desire to feel needed come to mind, and these things are not of God.
I’m guilty of trying to prevent bad news from happening. I’d rather formulate a grand escape plan than watch my son fall to the ground and get a scraped knee. Only when nothing else works do I turn to God instead of making Him my first choice.
Things won’t always be easy, but we can walk through anything with assurance that God is with us, even when we fall. The verse above gives us hope today. We do not have to let fear or worry drive us to try and control any situation. We can turn our hearts toward God and trust the outcome to Him.
I may have prevented a scraped knee or twisted ankle all those years ago, but now that my child’s a young adult, the walls of life are higher. But the risks are greater. With every decision he makes, thoughts of that day at the wall come flooding back. But instead of rushing to hold his hand this time, I see God sitting there a safe distance away, just watching. My job is to stand back and pray this simple prayer.
Lord, as I face the day’s challenges, you will be my first choice instead of my last resort. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you’re struggling to release control today, allow this life-changing prayer to help change your perspective. Let’s pray these words every time we desire to take control.
Remembering to give our problems to Him first will remove fear, worry, and insecurity from our hearts and replace them with trust, peace, and rest. May we keep steadfast hearts focused on our Heavenly Father today. He is our first and best choice.
About the author: Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing insight with her readers in relatable ways. Her lessons highlight God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. She is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Check out Kristine’s weekly devotions and other resources at kristinebrown.net.
Join the conversation: Do you struggle with wanting to control a given situation? Share your story!