Moving boxes, in addition to dozens of antiques collected over the years, crowded my friend’s living and dining rooms. Half the boxes had been loaded in the rented truck, but still no furniture.
I handed a box to Philip, the next person in the box brigade, and I spoke my mind. “We can fit boxes into all of our of pickup trucks, but not the furniture. We should stop with the boxes and start loading furniture.”
“You know,” he said in his measured way, “I’ve moved a lot of people, and I’ve found that when you have more than one person in charge, things don’t go so well.”
He hit home. “Ach. You’re right.” I handed him several more boxes, and the pile shrank.
I picked up a box with a red and white sign plastered on the side. “This box is fragile,” I said. “We should hold it back. They might stack something on it.”
“You know,” Philip said, “I think having more than one person calling the shots really gums up the works.”
“Okay, okay. I got it. I’ll shut up.”
Later, as we stretched our backs and looked for stray boxes, Philip apologized for correcting me.
“You didn’t say anything I didn’t need to hear. Thank you, Philip.”
I didn’t realize how bossy I am. I’m reluctant to hand over the reigns to God too. Sometimes I make suggestions to Him of how things might be handled better, more efficiently, less painfully. How easily I slide into this attitude, that I could come up with a better plan than God.
“God, I pray you’d send so and so into this person’s life. I pray you’d arrange a better job for that person. I pray you would make flights run on time and heal my friend completely right now.”
Here is God’s response to Job’s questioning how God was running things.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Gulp. My prayers reveal my lack of trust in God’s ability. They also reveal a lack of reverence for his wisdom and for whom I address. Or maybe, I doubt his kind love for me. He wouldn’t give me promises like Philippians 4:6-7, if he didn’t love me.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.”
These verses tell me to talk to God about the things that cause me to chew on my fingers, but I don’t need to tell him how to fix them. Perhaps he’s sending some of those situations to mature me, to build compassion for others, or maybe I need to exercise faith muscles and recognize who’s really in charge.
The promise in Philippians is only one of thousands given for assurance and comfort, but what assures me more is hearing God describe himself in Job in chapters 38-41. If I had a greater grasp on God’s sovereignty, I wouldn’t have a list of anxieties. I would be confident in His wisdom instead of swiveling my head this way and that, scrambling to fix things and looking to the world and people for help.
Romans 8:31& 35 say,
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
The scripture goes on to say that nothing exists in any realm that can separate us from God’s love. With that kind of love coupled with the power and wisdom described in Job to back it, I’m glad he’s in charge. Even when I do not understand why things happen as they do, I can trust who he is. He is enough.
He’s the boss.
Job excerpt From: Crossway. “ESV Classic Reference Bible.” Apple Books. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/esv-classic-reference-bible/id368214461?mt=11
Romans except from: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.