Are there worries that have been keeping you up at night? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are there stresses you can’t seem to calm? Does life seem out of control? My answer most recently has been a “Yes!” to all of the above. Days don’t move steadily according to my plans. I want to control when and how I get sick. I want to be sure my kids are going to turn out just fine. I want to meet each need and conquer each task that the day holds. The outcome of each day, however, proves differently. It turns out that I am not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent. It turns out that my plans change and my schedule gets interrupted. It also turns out that there is grace in these mishaps. I need these daily reminders so that I don’t trust in myself. The gospel frees me from the pressure, burden, and destruction of life in my “control” and calls me to rest in Christ’s complete control. When our eyes are opened to the good news of what Christ has accomplished for us on the cross we are able to see that any control we thought we had was just a sinful illusion. To think or talk like we have the final say is foolishness (Prov. 16:9; James 4:13-15). God has the final say over any and all things. As life repeatedly falls out of our control, where will we find our rest?
For many people, the connection of the head with the pillow causes an explosive reaction of thoughts and worries to flood the brain. Hours of the night are wasted trying to solve the world’s problems. We rehearse mistakes that were made, tasks left untouched, and the new troubles tomorrow will inevitably bring. Recently I heard a very simple but tremendously convicting statement, “Sleep is the daily reminder that He’s God and we’re not.” Wow. How often do I miss this reminder trying to conquer my own cares when I should be “catching Z’s”? Night time is the perfect time to practice 1 Peter 5:6-7. As our head hits the pillow our hearts should be humble enough to throw off any anxiety we may be holding onto to the God who neither sleeps nor slumbers (Ps. 121:4). He reminds us at the end of each day that we are not strong enough but He is. Night time is a constant reminder that we could never complete the requirements set by God. We are in desperate need of His rescue where we fall short. I so often want to fight against this grace but Jesus continually calls out to me, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden (or holding onto “control”!), and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
The gospel brings us to the reality that we are not in control but He is. In God’s control, each event whether it is according to our plans or not has meaning and purpose. The details of our day are carrying out a grand design; that He would be glorified (Eph. 1:11-12; Rom. 11:36). God wants to display Himself which may mean mishaps and messes but it is through these things that we come to see God move and work in ways we wouldn’t otherwise see. Jesus caught naps in the midst of storms because He knew who had the final say over each thunderclap and lightning strike. We serve a mighty God we can trust in, hold to, and rest in, at the end of each day.
Seeking To Rest In His Control, Pastor Rudy