My wife Holly and I have concluded that much of the fear and anxiety people are currently experiencing is a result of the realization that they are not in control of much in their lives. We find that we are happy and at peace when we think we have everything under control.
Of course, control is exerting influence over one’s circumstances or over the actions or behaviors of other people. Today we find ourselves without much control over our circumstances.
This has caused me to wonder, how much are we really in control of our earthly lives. For instance:
- Did you have any control over when and where you were born?
- Did you have any control over the color of your skin, your eyes, your hair, your height?
- Do you have any control over your talents, your abilities or your intelligence?
- Do you have any control over the economy, the stock market, interest rates or the consequences of our soaring deficit?
- Do you have any control over your social environment?
- Will you have a job, will your company still exist once this pandemic is over?
- Will you catch this invisible, very contagious Coronavirus?
- Can you stop yourself from aging?
- Do you know how or when you will die?
And finally when we do leave this earth we will experience the loss of everything we have gained in this life.
So what we are really in control of? I was reminded by a good friend these pertinent words from the book of James:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
From this we learn that we do not live in a random universe where our lives are at the mercy of the whims of fate. There is someone in control.
We are told in the Bible:
“. . . the Most High God is the ruler over the realm of mankind.” Daniel 5:21
“We also learn that “. . . our very life breath is in His hands.” Daniel 5:23
Furthermore, Jesus tells us “not even a small sparrow will fall to the ground without God’s consent.” Mathew 10:29
This ultimately is an issue of security. We are insecure people when we build our lives on anything that can be taken away from us, or which you have no control over. Real security is found in the hands of the eternal God. He is ultimately in control and He invites us to entrust our lives and our future into His care. The great missionary Hudson Taylor offers these encouraging words:
“God is ready to take full responsibility of the person whose life is truly yielded to Him.”
This is where real security and peace are found.
Richard E Simmons III is the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership and a best-selling author.