Joining with the Five Minute Friday fellowship this morning early, I check out this week’s prompt word…
Control! I can’t time this. I’m going to struggle through this.
The word honestly makes me gasp a bit. But here goes…
There are people who want to control everything around them, circumstances and people, mostly because of fear. They try to control to keep bad things from happening. They lock their doors with two or three locks each and check them all before they go to bed. They double-check on fire hazards, and won’t use their lovely fireplaces because they fear a conflagration. They warn you sternly about this, that, and the other, because they fear something happening to you that will make them lose you. These people can make life difficult, but once you realize what’s at the root of all those attempts at control, they’re a little easier to deal with.
But there are other people who want to control because they have this driving desire always to win, to conquer, to be one-up on the next person, and make sure that person is one-down. And they aren’t always above board and transparent about it, but secretly scope you out for weak places, buttons they can push to intimidate you or ways they can knock the knees out from under your confidence. They’ll pretend to support you but, at the same time, secretly put obstacles in the path of your prospects and potential fulfillments and joys. They’ll charm the audiences that daily life provides them and turn people around them into unknowing puppets. They’re bullies, but often bullies in very smooth disguise, because they’re out to win big with the people in their public world, be it large or small, and that includes looking good while doing bad. They’d control the whole world for personal gain if they could, and some of them seem to try.
But they can’t. And neither can we. Nor can we control them!
Yet with either of these types of “control freaks” we can easily get sucked into trying to! We can try to fix them, or to steer their hearts, or make them understand how they’re hurting us and then stop it and change. Which, in any of these cases, can become a terrible, increasingly tangled snare.
We can’t control the world and life and circumstances, or ultimately, other people, and neither can they, even if they do become artful at manipulation (especially that second group). No, there is still only One Who can control it all, and does, and I just want to testify that putting our trust and dependence on Him gives us a safe place, a wise place, to turn to, to cling to, a path to follow, and a loving helping hand and steadying arm to enable us to walk it.
For this Controller is also the Source and Essence of Love.
Sometimes we may question why He allows the bullies and manipulators to pervade our world and have the influence they do (consider Joseph’s brothers and, later, the bullying Pharaoh of Egypt who oppressed God’s children), but as we grow to know Him better and walk with Him more closely, we can begin to get glimpses of how He uses even the “control freaks” (even the bullying ones) for the ultimate, eternal, good of His beloved people.