ENCOURAGE EVERYONE IN THE HILL CITY AREA TO HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!
Wings of Hope
by BJ Reese
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust;
His truth shall be they shield and buckler.” ~ Psalms 91:4
Recent events in our family have provided me multiple opportunities to reflect on the subject of control. More accurately, they’ve been opportunities for me to realize how much control I don’t have. Watching my adult children struggle with choices they’ve made in their lives has shown me that – in vivid Technicolor!
As I’ve been forced to step back and let them walk their own paths, my focus has turned inward. Taking more time to look at my own life, I’ve discovered a startling truth: I am a major control freak. This realization has not come all at once. It’s shown itself in small doses – through little, everyday things.
Hanging my kitchen utensils only on certain hooks – and feeling totally disoriented when they aren’t where I want them. Making sure each coffee cup hangs in a specific place on the wall. Putting canned goods away and catching myself turning all the labels in the same direction. Setting out clean bath towels and noticing that I obsessively place the folds so they all point the same direction. They’re all little things, but they made me take notice.
The more I noticed, the more I saw. I began to see this obsession spilling over into other areas of my life: budget matters; time with Richard; when and how the yard work is done. How I think others should react to things. That made me wonder: how many times do I inadvertently try to dictate policy to God?
How Rich spends his free time when he’s home, how much of that home time is in one continuous block, wanting other people to respond the way I would respond, or to do things the same way I would do them. Even what time someone else gets up in the morning: wanting them to get up when I was ready to take a break and enjoy their company. The horrible, shameful truth is I try to control virtually every aspect of my day-to-day life. This was not a fact that I was proud of, and I knew it required some attention.
I began using my morning prayer time to discuss these issues with God. Crying, I listened as hard as I could for His Guidance. I desperately wanted to understand the lessons He was trying to teach me. To comprehend His Will for my life. Where did He want me doing something? When did He prefer I sit back and let go of my concerns and desires? My efforts to answer these questions through my time with God continued for quite a while.
Then, in early July, a light suddenly went on in my mind. All the family turmoil of the last two years presented an opportunity. The myriad of everyday little things I’d begun noticing at home served a purpose. At least, they would if I would allow them to. They were meant to help me learn to let go of my need for control and trust God to work. To let Him fight the battles that I couldn’t fight. He would do the work, and I was to simply be available. If there was something He wanted me to do, He’d let me know.
Of course, sitting and waiting is a very difficult task when the turmoil is right under your nose every day. It’s so easy to lapse into that mindset that wants to find a way to fix things or make them happen faster. To make people see things the way you see them. To figure out a way to stop them from doing the self-destructive things that you see them doing. Not being able to influence those situations causes an extraordinary amount of anxiety and stress.
My challenge in this has been in learning to rejoice in what there IS for me to do in any given situation. Most often, I’m asked to be a sounding board . . . or to allow our home to be used as a safe place for difficult encounters to happen. We’re also asked to let visitations take place here. These are all wonderful, useful services to provide. It has been very hard for me to accept that doing them is enough. That they are the perfect effort for me to put forth.
Proverbs 16:20 tells us: “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.”
I was discussing this struggle with a dear friend over lunch recently. She reminded me of a very famous saying: “They also serve who only stand and wait.” (author unknown).
I pray that I will become ever more comfortable serving in that capacity. That it will become increasingly easier for me to stand and wait – to trust God to do the work that I cannot. May I stop seeing that as a limited, useless effort . . . and remember that EVERYTHING we do for Him is important – even simply “being there”. Just because I can’t see its purpose doesn’t mean it doesn’t have one.
See you next time . . .
To His Glory . . . BJ Reese
Hill City Area Ministries, Inc.
A South Dakota Non-Profit Corporation
Income Tax Deductible IRS 501 (c) (3) Organization