How reassuring it feels to think we have things under control! The trouble with that feeling is, however, that we never really do. And if feeling in control seems too important to us, the times when we don’t have it can be extremely stressful, to put it mildly. That’s why I feel beyond grateful for a quiet certainty that One who is both almighty and good IS in control, and always will be.
The first time I realized how deeply rooted that certainty had become was on a winter morning when I’d decided to do a few errands before the kids got home from school. We had one of those tall, narrow VW mini-buses at the time—a bright red one. My husband, Steve, had dubbed it Quad-R for “Rolling Red Rumpus Room.” So that morning I climbed aboard Quad-R and headed toward the nearest shopping mall, which was some distance away. It had snowed, but the roads had been plowed, so I wasn’t expecting any problems. But all of a sudden, a few miles out, I felt Quad-R sliding sideways off the crest of the road! What surprised me was that, even though I had absolutely no control over the car, I didn’t feel a smidgeon of fear. In fact, my first thought was that it was going to be wonderful to see how He would work this thing out. The car did, in fact, end up sliding right off the road, but it came gently to a stop against perhaps the one object on that road that would neither harm the car nor be harmed by it: a mailbox that the owner had decorated by wrapping corn husks around it. It was as if the padding had been applied for this very purpose! I was able to pull back onto the road and head gratefully home.
Another memorable instance of experiencing the reliability of this divine control occurred some years later. My husband was working in Annapolis at the time, and I was flying out there for a weekend visit. I packed a tote bag with reading material to enjoy on the flight. I also tucked into it some pieces of non-costume jewelry that were fairly valuable—at least to me—in order to keep them with me. After deplaning in Annapolis, I found a seat where I could wait for my luggage and tucked the tote under the seat. I must have been happily diverted by Steve’s arrival because, some miles from the airport, I realized I had left the tote underneath that seat. We went back to the airport immediately and searched not only under the seat but also in all the places where lost objects could be turned in—all to no avail. That bag with its valued contents was now totally out of my control. The first thing that came to mind was that even if it was out my control, it was not out of God’s control. The second was that its contents, which included some inspirational reading material, could bless someone, and that my name and address was on some of it. And I determined then and there that I did not have to allow this incident to cast a shadow over a lovely weekend with Steve. And it didn’t. Fast forward several weeks to a day when a package arrived in the mail with a return address I didn’t recognize. Inside was the tote with every bit of its contents intact. To this day I don’t know how the decision to return the bag came about. I only know for certain that it was “a God thing.”
I’m sure that you have probably experienced similar occasions when something that seemed to be out of control ended up providing a proof of who really IS in control. I hope I can encourage you to share one (or more) of them here or with someone who needs to hear about them.