“Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 (NLT)

Years ago I lived in a world where control reigned. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. A lesson was learned that being a control freak is just an outward expression of inward pain.

Control left my life and life was easier. Every once in a while I feel control rising in our home. I react accordingly and it is not pleasant. I either shut down completely or I react with anger. Neither are good things.

In the past few days I was once more confronted with a controlling person. I was proud of myself because I did not shut down. I did not get angry. I stayed like myself. I met the disagreeable tone with answers that were measured and calm. I stepped outside and prayed. Prayed for the person who is struggling with their inward pain and prayed that I would not do what every fiber of my being wanted to do, lash out.

Control is a difficult thing in our lives. When our lives feel so out of control and we have no choice in what is happening, we grasp hold of what we can and manipulate it into a shape where we can have a say. Control wears you out. The person controlling and the person who is being controlled. It robs you of peace and calm. It distances itself from true happiness.

You settle. You rationalize about the situation. You look for hope. Even in all of it, you do experience growth. You see, the Lord is in the midst of control if you look for Him. He is waiting for a hand to reach out towards Him. He is whispering in the quiet of the night. He understands and loves in spite of it all.

Today I woke up feeling raw inside. I wasn’t sick, but there was a familiar feeling deep within me. It feels like the hurt of a burnt finger that is blistered. It’s small, but it’s painful. I realized that in the corners of my being that long time hurt resides. It’s there for remembrance, to recognize certain situations. Today, though, if felt like it had been poked harshly and was once more wounded.

Since I recognized it, I have asked the Lord to touch that area. Once more I go to prayer, this time to earnestly pray for those suffering from the bonds of control. I do not have to do anything, for it is in God’s hands.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Once upon a time, I worried about everything. I worried I would do something wrong. I would mess up. I would fail. But, that was long ago. I have learned, sometimes the hard way, to cast my cares on God. He is big enough to handle them. He can hear my screaming, my agony, my tears. He has never failed me. I know that when things get like this, I can climb up on His lap and His perfect arms wrap around me and heal, even the deepest hurts and disturbances.

Another Confession, (sigh…)

I am a human. I am learning. Most of the time, I am relearning because I didn’t learn the first time. I have often said that the Lord has a sledge hammer with my name on it beside His throne of grace. I often picture Him sighing, and leaning over and picking it up once more to whap me upside the head so that I will get the message. It is a well worn hammer, I picture it worn on both sides from use.

For years, I have opened my eyes in the morning and thanked the Lord for the new day. Often I will remember to put on the armor of God. I always say, ‘I give this day to You, Lord, it is Yours.’ That sounds so lovely, doesn’t it? I almost sound like I am in tune with God.

And then… (There is always that statement.) I begin to tell the Lord what I am going to do with my day. I like to be organized and fit as much as I can in each day. The same is true in walking. Each lap, I pray for particular people. I am regimented. There has to be order.

This morning I started my walk, one lap, two laps, and on the third lap I heard it. “STOP! You are doing it again. ” It took a few seconds for the message to get to my brain. Again, I am making certain that I am doing everything I THINK I need to do. I overcompensate in almost every area. I confess it.

Once more my Lord leaned over about to grab that sledge hammer. Like a dog learning obedience I stopped and gave a sad puppy look to heaven.

I often tell others that they are enough, just like they are. They don’t need to strive because our Lord loves them, knows the number of hairs on their head, and even those in the hairbrush, that our Lord sings for joy over them each morning. I can believe that for others.

After realizing that I was once more trying to ‘do’ what I felt was right. What I was doing was rote, I heard, “Just walk. You are missing Me in trying to accomplish your list.”

I spent the rest of the walk silently walking. I remembered how I have had conversations with so many where I couldn’t get a word in edgewise and yet, here I have been doing that with our Lord. Prayer is a conversation.

So, I end with this. Lord, forgive me. Forgive me for not listening. Forgive me for not allowing You to move in my day the way You desire. Forgive me for not seeing my worth in You. I love you Lord.

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118: 24 (NLT)