Life is overwhelming. That is the way life works. It is testing us all. Life is going to throw problems at you, and often, those problems will come at you like 25 fast-ball pitches thrown at once. Life is Murphy’s Law; “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” It is astonishing how Murphy’s Law, devastatingly impacts the Israelites, in just one chapter. In Genesis 50, the Israelites were overwhelmingly successful in Egypt, and in Exodus 1, a new Egyptian Ruler insecurely takes notice and things go wrong. His insecurities cause him to enslave the Israelites, and enforce serious mistreatment upon them. This new Pharaoh commanded the childbirth nurses to kill all Hebrew boys as they were being delivered. When that didn’t work, this Pharaoh ordered all Hebrew newborn males to be thrown into the Nile River. A waterproofed Basket floated Moses down the Nile River, as his mother relinquished control of him, into the hands of Almighty God. Imagine the fear of Moses’ mother, pregnant with Moses, as Pharaoh’s order became public news. When Moses was born, his mother hid him for as long as possible, to save his life. We all know how hard it is to hide the cries of a baby. After three months of effort, Moses’s mother couldn’t keep him a secret any longer. She made a basket, waterproofed it, placed her son in it, and released him down the river. She actually obeyed Pharaoh’s orders. She chose to put Moses in the Nile herself, instead of releasing him into the hands of the brutal Egyptian soldiers. Can you imagine her anguish, as she watched him innocently float away? I have questions for Miriam, the older sister of Moses, who ran along the riverbank, watching him float into the hands of an Egyptian Princess. Miriam’s sly and deliberate strategy, in that moment, is astonishing. Maybe the theme of this historical event is summed up in one word; Control.
There comes a time in all our lives where we realize we must tweak how we fight for control. Would it inspire you to know, that you can give up the kind of fighting that leaves you continually exhausted, and instead, fight in a way that refreshes you? God and you both know life is a fight. God must truly celebrate when He witnesses us learn to fight smarter, instead of harder. Fighting harder is all about you and your effort. Fighting smarter is all about attacking life, but by relinquishing all control into the hands of the Creator of all things. To use a flying illustration, fighting harder is having God as your co-pilot. Fighting smarter is letting God be the pilot, and you’re His co-pilot. You’ll always be in some form of a fight, but who you allow to have ultimate control, makes all the difference. Controlling anything requires tremendous energy. You ultimately have control over only one thing in life. You control(give permission)to who gets to be the one in control. If you are currently the one who is controlling things, you will recognize it by how much it exhausts you. When you are tempted to continually control anything, just remember Moses’s mother, and how she had to let go of controlling her son’s life, and entrusted his future into the hands of God. Be encouraged, God still wants you to be wise, strategic, deliberate, and sly, but all control belongs to Him. What fights are you currently controlling? Do you think the outcomes of your fights will be better if left in your hands of control, or will they be better if you let go of that basket, and entrust the outcomes into the hands of Jesus?
Meditate and Respond:
- Control is a difficult thing to define and notice. I implore you to humbly and authentically pause and write down the things in your life that are exhausting you. Exhaustion isn’t all telling, but often we get seriously exhausted by trying to control things that we have no business controlling. Do you have trusted friends that you could give permission to point out areas where they think you are too controlling? If so, humbly ask them, and do not get upset at them, if they risk sharing some truth with you.
- If question one revealed anything to you about how controlling you are, then write out 3 of the simplest steps you can take, starting today, to begin to train yourself to let go of control. Trust God with all results and outcomes. Also, think of a way to daily remind yourself to keep letting go of control. It will be a hard new habit to create, and the temptation to become the “pilot” again will be huge.
- If you truly trust God, and fully acknowledge that God is with you, then you need not fear what is ahead of you. C.S. Lewis said, “Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”
- Bible Verse to Meditate on: Psalm 135:6-7, 2 Chronicles 20:6, Psalm 93:1, Romans 8:28, Psalm 46:1, Luke 1:37, Ephesians 3:20, Matthew 10:16, Psalm 27:1.