By: Justine Johnson
Have you ever really wanted to simply tell God, “I’ve got a better idea,” and change what is going on around you? During those times, it seems as though there are ten better solutions to the problem that you said you were going to give God control of. Sure, you believe that God has something great in store…but could He please hurry up and show the preview for next week’s episode?
I was in the same boat last weekend. A difficult situation crashed into my world in a wave that felt far too large to withstand. After already feeling rather alone, a friendship I had valued quite highly went up in flames. I spent most of that day in tears and walked around campus with an absolutely consuming ache in my being. A couple of days later, a classmate lost her entire family in a car accident, throwing the whole student body into turmoil. For the first time in my entire life, my trusting heart asked the question, “Why, God?”
Over the past five or six days, I have mulled over this situation hundreds of times…desperate to understand the burden that is pressing me closer and closer to the ground. Nothing is making sense right now, but I desperately want to know the direction that my life is actually taking. Yes, I have certainly wanted to tell God, “I’ve got a better idea.”
A couple of months ago, during another of those times when I wanted to give God a few pointers, I called my friend Marci for a “bestie pep talk.” On the topic of control, Marci gave this analogy:
“A father is working on the family car and his young son comes outside to watch. The son asks to help fix the car, and the father lets him ‘help,’ even though the son will more than likely just be in the way or slow things down. The father quite capable of making all the repairs alone, but he lets the son hand him tools as he tinkers away on the vehicle. By doing this, the son gets to have a part in the process, giving him a purpose.”
Marci said that this is much like our relationship with God. “God is the Creator of the Universe…He has everything under His control. But He allows us to serve Him by giving us things to do on earth to give us a sense of purpose. It’s like we’re holding the wrenches for Jesus.”
I think that we as Christians sometimes neglect the fact that God has a Master Plan that we are just a small part of. I know that I often fall into the mentality that God needs me to do a certain thing; in reality, He gives me assignments or jobs because He wants me to have a role in His Kingdom. The danger of this slightly misled thought process is that it becomes very easy to forget Who is really calling the shots.
Specifically in my current life situation, it has been difficult not to get caught up in my “need” to fix things in my relationships. I often pray for God’s will for this circumstance, then turn around and try to change it, even though God clearly has it under control. I forget that I am holding the wrenches, not taking apart the engine.
Have you been holding the wrenches, or are you like me—struggling not to do the job yourself?
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.—Psalm 103:18-20