What comforting truth in light of what’s happening in our country right now. I know it helps me in times of uncertainty, times of chaos, to pause and remember…
God is sovereign.
I might not be able to understand the reason why something happened. I may not be able to see my way out of a certain situation. I may not be able to see what lies ahead. But I can trust that God is in control. Completely in control. That is a freeing thought, isn’t it? Because, there is a lot outside of our control!
You and me, we really don’t have much control over anything, do we?
We learned when we were young how little we have to say about our lives. We are very often a beneficiary or a victim, a product, of choices made by those around us. Some of these are good, but some are unfair, ugly and unfortunate.
We learned as we got older just how much we don’t know, and despite how much we do, there are factors that influence our circumstances that we have no control over.
We learn when we get married that all those expectations we had about what our spouse will do, who they will be, were likely unrealistic and definitely something that we could not control, try as we might.
We learn pretty early on in parenting that we can try to do everything “right” and still not get the desired results. We even learn that we can do everything the experts suggest and still not see progress. We may make well-thought-out decisions, and then have the outcome leave us scratching our heads. Certainly we learn that, in pretty much every situation, the only one we can control is ourselves.
We learn that unfortunate events take place and, that despite being safe, trained or prepared, our lives are forever changed.
We learn that tragedies occur, diagnoses are given, and despite all the procedures and treatments and prayers, people we love are taken away from us too soon.
No… we are definitely not in control.
BUT GOD IS. In every circumstance, always. And ultimately there is nothing that can bring us peace other than believing that truth.
I’ve been watching the news, listening to what’s being said, the varying viewpoints. I’ve seen all the pointing fingers and heard the blame game. I’ve felt sick listening to the hateful words and seeing the despicable actions of those so far removed from where God wants His children to be. My heart aches from the hate and violence of what happened in Charlottesville and in other parts of our country, and around the world for that matter.
There is nothing groundbreaking I can say that is any better than what’s already been put out there regarding Charlottesville. From the news, to blogs, to social media – most everything has been said. I, too, have felt angry, frustrated and sad. I also have felt scared about the state of the country I live in and, even greater, the world I’m raising my kids in.
But today I also feel a couple of other things…
I feel convicted. I feel called to action. Not to spout off my opinions on Facebook, but to do what I can, as often as I can, to make the world a more loving place.
I feel secure. At times I might not feel safe in this world, but I feel secure in my faith, my belief that God is in control and His power is absolute. I am confident in that.
As I get older, I am learning that what I can control – and the only thing I can truly control – is me. ME.
Here’s what I (and you) can do:
I can choose how I am going to respond to what is going on in this country right now.
I can speak up for what I believe in.
I can gain perspective by putting myself in someone else’s shoes.
I can decide how I react to words said to me. Not in how I feel, but how I act on those feelings.
I can apologize and ask for forgiveness when I am wrong.
I can take action, help and give of my time.
I can share what I have and give to those in need.
I can practice humility and serve – in my community, in my church, in my home.
I can stop judging others and take a good look at myself.
I can notice people, especially those that look different than me, and make them feel like they belong.
I can be intentional about extending kindness.
I can make LOVE and COMPASSION core values in my home.
I can choose to be grateful.
I can be an encourager.
I can start conversations and listen and give GRACE.
I can practice patience and gentleness and self-control.
I can treat others the way I would want to be treated.
I can start a movement, beginning right here at home.
I can be brave and boldly live out my faith. I can PRAY for guidance and perseverence in all of the above. I can PRAISE God for His faithfulness, for the blessings in my life, for the goodness in others, and for His grace.
The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.” Psalm 145:13b
When tragedy occurs and all we see is darkness, when our world seems chaotic, when the demands and circumstances of life seem overwhelming and there is so much unknown, we can trust the One who is always at work, who sees us and knows us completely and loves us still, the One who has all authority.
Instead of losing hope in all we can’t control, let’s focus on what we can. We can decide how we live and how we love.
Let’s do these things!