This past week, I got to take a little time out of my schedule to have lunch with a woman who has mentored me in my Christian walk over the last few years. By few, I mean decade. Has it been that long? I have a deep appreciation for this beautiful woman of God who saw not only who I was as a new believer, but who I could become. She taught me the fine art of bible study, prayer & steps to spiritual growth. The importance of balance and baby steps. I still, to this day, cannot figure out why she chose to mentor me, but I am so thankful that she did. Everytime I meet with her, though those instances are few and far between, I always take a step back to see how far I have come. She never fails to remind me that the growth she has seen in my life is amazing. Sometimes, all I can see his how far I have left to go. Perception is a funny thing.
A subject we tackled in our conversation was control. We talked about ministry leadership and the underlying need that others sometimes have to “be in control.” This is a sensitive topic for me. I remember, specifically, the opportunity to lead Promiseland. I walked into the ministry with big ideas of how “I” was going to change everything for the better. “I” went to work and started all of “My” plans into motion, only to be stopped short by a group of honked off volunteers. My season of conquering hero soon came to a screeching halt. While remembering this season as difficult, it taught me so much about control. Since that time, I have worked exceptionally hard at not trying to control the ministry God gave me. I have worked to treat it with an open hand. Amazingly, through prayer, I set my goals before God and allow him to go to work on them in His perfect timing. The results never cease to amaze me. His abilities are so much greater than my own.
I would like to think that I am the only student in the class that struggles with the issue of control, but I am hard pressed to believe it. The issue of control turns up in the bible as early as Genesis 3. At the time of original sin, God is cursing the earth as a consequence to the sin of Adam and Eve when he says to Eve, “..And you will desire to control your husband, but he will have control over you…”. This sentence of scripture hits me right in between the eyes every single time I read it. In the original Hebrew, “desire to” is defined as a desire, longing or craving. Subtext goes on to say “a beast to devour.” Is control really a beast that longs to devour me?
This is a blog that will probably leave me scratching my head with more questions than answers, but a big challenge I am facing this week, is “God, what motivates my desire to be in control?” In most cases, it is my pride. I want to look good to other people. I want to be thought of as a woman with “good character”. As a lady that “knows what she is talking about”. A gal thats “got it all together”. I don’t want fail in front of other people and I certainly don’t want to appear to be a hypocrite. The leader in charge may not be serving to my agenda. The list goes on and on, but here is a thought I want to leave you with:
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)
In terms of life and of ministry, I have learned with my head that it is best to live with an open hand. To allow God to control what I will hold and what will be taken away. The problem is my heart. I pray that my heart will be transformed to the attitude of Christ in the coming week. “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”