Trusting God is sometimes like teaching a teenager to drive. Someone else has the wheel, and you have no real control. Moving from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat as your teen learns to drive can cause a lot of uneasy feelings. You have just lost complete control of the vehicle to someone who thinks they know everything! Once that car goes into gear, you are at their mercy. You may offer strong suggestions such as, “Stop! Slow down! Change lanes! Watch out!” In reality, you are just along for the ride. Lack of control can leave you feeling uncomfortable, but eventually you learn to sit back and enjoy the ride with only an occasional outburst the backseat.
Events in our lives sometimes leave us with that same uneasy feeling. We may find ourselves questioning how God could allow things to happen the way they do. We try to keep a positive attitude and trust Him, but we tend to rely on our own ability to improve the situation. We find ourselves offering those same strong suggestions to God from the passenger seat of life. “God, I think this would be best for me right now!” Or “God, this is what I need!” Or “God, I really can’t do this!” At times, we want to just grab the steering wheel and take back control of our lives. Then we find our lives crashing into chaos because we have acted outside of God’s will for us.
We naturally want to have control, but our own abilities won’t be enough if we aren’t trusting God. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” When we are feeling anxious about allowing God to be at the wheel of our life, maybe it’s because our trust level is not where it should be. It is easy to forget that God isn’t a “God in Training”. He is in control, and He has a plan.
Positive thinking and taking control do not show trust. Trusting God can be as difficult as trusting your teen behind the wheel. It doesn’t usually happen overnight. It is something that we must learn. Over time, we learn that God is trustworthy, and we can still trust Him even when life gives us that uneasy feeling because things aren’t going how we planned. To “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” means that we let go of our own abilities and surrender everything to Him. When we learn to trust and give full control to Him we are able to rest and feel peace that only comes from God. The ride may be bumpy at times, but we can trust God and relax in the backseat.
As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. – Emmanuel Teney
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