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The Idol of Control

Hello friends. I think it’s finally safe for me to say happy spring. We have snow on the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, but I’ve come to realize that snow is normal for Spring in Wyoming. We are right in the heat

of branding season, the most wonderful time of the year, in the ranching community.

I love everything about branding days; putting on my cowgirl clothes, gathering cows out of green pastures, riding nice horses, roping calves, teamwork when wrestling, and the smell of a fresh brand. Don’t even get me started on the cooking. Ranch wives, myself excluded, are the best cooks. There isn’t anything I enjoy much more than spending all morning working hard as a group and then sitting down to a nice lunch with great friends and conversation. The pictures featured in today’s post are from my bother and sister-in-law’s branding last Friday.

Now for the serious part, putting all the branding talk aside, I have a word the Lord keeps giving me that I want to share.

CONTROL.

I struggle with the illusion of being in control every single day. I think if I work hard enough to prepare, that things will go smooth. I rationalize that If I think things through and plan them out to the smallest detail, everything will go my way. I stew, I worry, and I stress over things until I suck the life right out of my day. I try to control things that I have no power over. Examples: the actions of others, the opinions of others, the cars that shouldn’t be in the fast lane, the vibe of a social situation, the drama I’m not even involved in, the things that only God can do.

I try to control it all.

God has been working on me. Hard. It seems like every sermon I listen to, every inspirational quote I see, and every bible verse I flip open to lately are all related to a common theme.

I AM NOT IN CONTROL. The weight of the world is not really on my shoulders. The goodness of humanity prevailing over evil doesn’t rest at my fingertips. I don’t hold the keys to the future. I need to let it all go. I need to let God be my God. I must stop worshipping the idol of control and repent of my foolishness. There is only one thing I can control and that is how tightly I cling to the presence of my God. I can force myself into his presence on the days it’s not easy. I can enjoy his spirit when all is well. I can plead for his comfort when I feel hopeless and abandoned. I can meet him every morning when his promises are fresh and new. I am in control of the fact that if I am willing to be with God, I am guaranteed that He is willing to be with me. That is it. That is all I need. God will sort the rest of it out. He will give me peace to let go of things that he says I don’t need, and to hold on tight to the things that are important. He will lead me daily to the places I need to be, like a shepherd leads his sheep. I can rest in Him. He will not let me wander as long as I choose to be in His herd. Here are a few verses to support my thoughts above. My prayer is that by reading this post, others will be able to let go of the illusion of control and feel the peace and freedom that comes from giving it all to God.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; thy do not sow or reap or put away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Amen.

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