By Josh Weisbrod on 5/22/12
Giving God partial control
When my wife and I decided to save up and purchase our first home I had no fairly tale illusions about the process. My parents had been in the real estate business for years and we have moved countless times. I told myself over and over not to get attached to specific houses, and if you asked me that was what I would have told you I was doing. To the world I proclaimed that I would simply observe a house and then make a logical decision with my wife on whether to make an offer. The reality was slightly different than that though. When we viewed a house that we liked I found myself emotionally involved. I could see myself playing guitar in a room or having guests over to watch movies in another room. It was exciting and fun. It is really cool to think of how you are going to live inside a potential first house. What I discovered was how stressful this process can actually be. Not to say it wasn’t fun, but it was also stressful. The emotional roller-coaster of searching for a great house, finding it, seeing yourself in the house, making an offer, waiting, and then not getting the house was tougher than I had originally anticipated. Then the other week we found an amazing house. By this time I was anxious about getting emotionally attached to this place because I was expecting to be too late or something, but we were their on time and we made an offer.
Now here is where this turns from being a story about a house to actually being a purposeful moment. When we put the offer in for the house I said, in my mind, that it was in God’s hands now. I knew that I had great people helping me with this process, for which I will always be grateful, but I couldn’t be at peace within myself about it. I wasn’t anxious about buying the house, but rather that once again I would go through the process and not come out with a house. I know that most people have to struggle much harder than this to find a home, but at the end of the day what I had was my situation and my small brain to deal with it. So I worried about it. I worried about it in an unhealthy way. I wouldn’t sleep. I would be irritable and obsessive. I even developed some nifty nervous ticks than concerned my family. All of this anxiety was taken to an irrational level over something that was supposed to be exciting. So I decided that I needed to give it to God.
What that really meant was that I was choosing to ignore what was happening, not that I was really giving it to God. What I found was that I would “give it to God”, so to speak, until I got nervous about it then I would take it back. It’s like that song Jesus Take The Wheel except if Jesus isn’t driving fast enough or I am worried about traffic I will rip the wheel out of Jesus’ hands and attempt to take control of the car. What I was really saying was “I will give God control over the things that I can still keep control of”, which sounds absurd when you actually say it. It honestly took a moment of breaking down after the Friday night of the Men’s Weekend here at Canyon Creek for me to open the Word of God to 1 Peter 5:7 and read “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I know that is probably not the deepest verse you have ever read, but it really struck me as beautiful in its simplicity.
My struggle for releasing control was based in the thought that I knew what was best for me, as if I could take control from God and make better decisions than He could. It sounds foolish, I know, but so much of what we do can be based in that thinking. Because God is not us, and since the only one we trust is ourselves, we don’t truly believe that He will provide for us. I had to remind myself that the ways and thoughts of God are so much greater than my own. Isaiah 55:8-10 says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’.” See what it took to calm me down was the reminder that God is so far greater than me, and when I give up control to him it is in the best possible hands. My anxiety had come from trying to give partial control to God and during that “partial” time really just trying to ignore the situation. The peace and rest came when I remained diligent in the task at hand while also trusting and having faith in God to provide according to His plan.
At the end of the day faith had to win in my heart in order for anxiety to be defeated in my life.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.