God is sovereign. He really is in control. He really does work all things together for His good. Yet, when the cares and trials of the world come right at us, we tend to try to get in the driver’s seat, take control, and figure things out on our own. I’m recently recovering from a strong bout of this striving, coupled with my anxiety and depression.
Often in my journey, I find myself in a state of striving, rooted in fear and anxiety, and wanting to prove myself. Yet, no fruit comes from this way of striving. It is not pleasing to the Lord when we rely on our own strength or understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 states: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight” (NIV). He calls us to lean into Him, not ourselves. But leaning into Him can be scary – especially when we have had traumatic and/or disappointing events happen to us. Yet, when we discover His sovereignty and character, we realize He is the safest One to entrust our lives to.
I recently started reading Max Lucado’s book, “Anxious for Nothing,” and he discusses the importance of understanding God’s sovereignty in treating anxiety. I couldn’t have read this truth at a better moment! Lucado gave the example of the lack of control we feel when we are gridlocked in traffic. This example got me thinking of how I feel gridlocked in life right now in many ways, and I have been grabbing for control in any way I can as a result. Being obsessive-compulsive about cleaning my apartment, my to do-list, my relationships, my performance, my recovery, and the list goes on! But, a lot of the circumstances I’m facing I can’t change. I sense the Lord calling me to radically surrender to Him, yet again. He’s convicted me that trying to control things only makes my circumstances and mental health worse; even more so, my striving has taken my eyes off of my Sovereign God.
As I fix my eyes back on Him, I see His kindness, goodness, and compassionate love for me. He is patient with me when I have no patience for myself. He has grace for me when I have no grace for myself. My pain and unresolved issues can stare me in the face and cause me to retreat. Or, I can look at my pain and unresolved issues and remember how big my God is. As Max Lucado states in his book – “stabilize your soul in the sovereignty of God” (p. 25).
Rest in the work of the cross, and listen for His voice to guide you. He will empower you, give you His perspective, and help you walk out the waiting as He works all things for His good. And, you will see His prescription for you isn’t to hide under the covers, but to step boldly into His love and presence!
Paul states in Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!” (NIV)
Rejoice in who He is today and that He is taking care of you and all your needs in His perfect Sovereignty.