As far as I'm concerned, I can become so absorbed in giving myself guidelines to follow, rules to obey, and lines not to cross that I forget to give God the room to breathe in my life. His word tells us that He's all powerful, that the battles we face are His, not ours (2nd Chron. 20:15). Yet there have been multiple times when I've found myself on that battle field, trying in earnest to fight and failing. All I am reminded of in those instances is my humanity and the weakness entailed with being human. In not surrendering control to God, I'm essentially saying that I can do it - no thanks God, I've got this one, you sit back, take a day off. And who am I to take on that attitude with my Creator?
Most of the time, when I ask myself why I don't want to relinquish control, the answer is that I'm afraid. I think we all are...
That might be a fairly big judgment to make, but when it comes to life-altering decisions: school, relationships, purity, jobs, promotions etc. it's just plain hard to give Him absolute control. We want to follow His plan for our lives but there's that tiny voice deep inside that says what if it all goes wrong?
And that's sort of where I was a few days ago when I was reading John 20. God, I know you've got my future in your hands...but I have this application to do, and this school yet to hear from. I've got this situation going on here that I'm really struggling with, I don't know what to do with this person over there...how am I going to get past these next few months with all of these ends untied, and -
"'Woman, he said, 'why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'
Jesus said to her, 'Mary'" (John 20:15-16).
I absolutely love that last line - "Jesus said to her, 'Mary'."
Mary's completely undone over Jesus' missing body. She comes to Him crying and beside herself, desperate for some answers and oblivious to the fact that all the answers she needs are wrapped up in the one man standing before her. She turns to him and in that scene, I see myself, trying to deal with my own stress. Like her, I rattle off all of my problems without pausing to listen for His direction. When he said to her, "Mary", I could feel the compassion behind that one word. It's like Jesus was saying Hey. Calm down. It's going to be okay, just trust me. I know everything you're going through but just breathe for a moment. I'm right here and I'm going to help.
Maybe I'm reading too much into that one little line...but it was one little line that really challenged me to remember the unbelievably deep love that Jesus has for us, 24/7. That sometimes, stopping and giving up control is better than trying to fix it all by ourselves. He'll give us all the guidance we need and his grace, mercy, and love have eradicated the need for us to do life by ourselves.