I’m learning more and more about how natural it is for us as humans to want to control what goes on in our lives. The world and especially technology is moving at a faster pace than ever before. We are now able to be connected within a global community at any time with the flick of a button on our smartphones. This is fantastic and useful but also frightening because more than ever before we feel as if we can’t keep up with everything that is happening. We often feel weak and powerless because we know we are out of control. Being in control gives us lots of good, happy feelings of success and achievement but these feelings slip away when our control is lost too.
In searching for these good, happy feelings I have found that some of our favourite things to control include our weight, our image, our lifestyle and the things we own. All of this is well and good and we know that it is important and even mandated by God to be diligent, healthy and to take pride in our appearance. But cracks begin to appear when the big stuff comes along; the health scare or the job loss. We are not God. When the chips are down, there are things in life we actually have completely zero control over.
Mostly, we feel out of control when we don’t have enough. My work situation is something that really makes me feel as if I don’t have enough. Time, energy and money are significantly lacking in my ability to meet my own needs and the seemingly endless needs of others that are so evident in my family, church and community.
When it comes down to it I can identify two specific reasons for my penchant to take control of this situation;
1. I cannot physically, intellectually, humanly see a logical or likely solution for the provision of my needs.
Like the Israelites wandering in the desert with no way of hunting, farming or growing food the physical impossibility of their need for sustenance being met is clear. Yet God miraculously provides manna, bread from heaven, to give His people life. (Ex 16:4)
2. I feel the need to take control because deep down I don’t trust God to meet my needs.
We practice storing up and working as much as humanly possible on the chance that God may let us down this time. This is exactly the way the Israelites worked over and above to collect and store manna disobeying God’s command to collect only enough for each day. The leftovers literally turned to dust and their efforts were worth nothing. God would be the one to supply enough for each day. He continued to do so for 40 straight years when the Israelites had no other means to survive. (Ex 16:19-20)
God’s faithfulness is not in question. Neither is His love nor ability to supernaturally meet our needs. More than any physical and temporary needs Jesus Himself is able to meet our needs spiritually, to offer forgiveness and eternal life. He alone is enough for our every day. He is the very ‘Bread of Life.’ “Whoever comes to me [Jesus] will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
We need to stop controlling and stop trying and to start resting and enjoying God and what He has given us for today, trusting Him to provide for every tomorrow. Our manna is on the way!