When You Think You Are in Control

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AJ thinks she is controlling the video showing on the iPad. Notice the cord for the keyboard is not only not plugged in, but the keyboard is incompatible with the iPad she is watching. Yet she is perfectly content living with her illusion and doesn’t even think about the unseen force that is actually controlling that video. Even if she did, she wouldn’t be able to comprehend it.

We often live with the same illusion. As we work away at our keyboards, we may think we are controlling our lives. After all, when we hit certain keys, things in our lives change. So we think the changes were caused by what we did.  And in some ways, they were.

We can hit the eating healthy key to have less illness to deal with.

We can hit the reliable honest worker key to keep our jobs.

We can hit the education key to earn higher incomes for a comfortable lifestyle.

We can hit the keys for keeping our minds sharp.

But the control is an illusion.

People with healthy diets can still end up with cancer and other life threatening diseases.

Reliable honest workers can still be fired or laid off.

Highly educated people can still be unemployed or employed below their education level.

Even sharp minds can be destroyed by disease, accidents, or old age.

We think the noises we make with our keyboards mean we have control.

But…

We don’t control our bodies. Breathing, digesting, sleeping will eventually happen regardless our efforts to stop it. We can’t stop our hearts from beating whenever we desire or make it start beating again when it stops.  We can’t control a baby growing within us or when that baby will be born. We can’t control getting older. We can’t stop it, change the speed at which we age, or control our signs of aging.

We don’t control our minds. We can’t make our brains work faster or smarter. Those with slow processing skills can’t suddenly start thinking as fast as a computer. Those with low IQ’s can’t decide to be a genius. We can’t control whether or not we will develop a mental disease. No one chooses to struggle with a mental illness, yet many people do.

We don’t control others. We can’t control who will love us and who will not. We can’t control who will hire us, or an employer’s decision to fire us. We can’t control rumors or whether friends will be trustworthy or not. We can’t control how strangers treat us in public places, or the crimes evil people commit.

We don’t control our life circumstances. We can’t control accidents. That’s why we call them accidents. And they happen to everyone regardless of how careful they may be. We can’t control the damage storms can bring into our lives. We can’t control how much our employer will pay us or what budget we have to live within.

What many of us don’t realize is that all our efforts are actually incompatible with the reality of what does control our lives, especially if we’re not plugged into the spiritual world. If we ever manage to think about the unseen forces, both good and evil, that surround us, we don’t understand them so we go back to using what we do understand. We continue plucking away at our powerless keyboards.

Yet there is power available. There is One who has complete control over all forces. There is One who desires to reveal the truth to our illusion. There is One who longs for us to plug into Him and is eager to teach us how to use our keyboards. In our natural state our keyboards are incompatible with Him, but because of what Jesus did, He can transform them so that they are God-compliant. We don’t have to understand all the spiritual forces acting on our lives; we just have to understand how to plug our power cord into Him so that His power can flow into our lives. Then when we hit those keys, something real will happen.

Dear Little Lion (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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What do you see as you stare at that lion? Do you see the strength and courage that a lion has? Do you see the power behind that face? The energy and demand for attention? The ability to roar and be heard – yet just as capable of soft mews and purrs, delighting in gentle play and shared cuddles with loved ones? Do you see the fierce loyalty a lion has for its pride? How very quiet and patient it can be when focused on a goal? Do you see the incredible confidence a lion has, believing that there is nothing that it can’t do?

Do you see yourself in the face of that lion?

I do.

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

Proverbs 30:30  lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

An Anointing Experience

“God, what does the anointing feel like?” she prayed late one night. “I hear preachers talking about it but I don’t think I’ve ever felt it. Could You give me an ‘anointing’ experience?”

She knew believers were supposed to seek God, not experiences. She knew those who did seek after experiences tended to end up in bad places, many times dragging other people with them. She didn’t want that, but she was curious about what the preachers were talking about. So she dared the prayer, then went to sleep.

The next morning she woke feeling really bad. Tired from going to bed late, she was also feeling sick. The slight cold she had had the day before had developed into a full fledged head cold. Struggling to get up, she thought about calling in sick and just staying home. But staying home was not an really an option that day. There were things she needed to do that no one else could do for her.

“God, You’re going to have to get me through this day. I can’t do it and I don’t even want to try.” she mumbled as she got dressed.

Having no appetite, she skipped breakfast, got in her car, and headed to work.

Once there, she forgot everything as she got busy with the multitude of tasks a teacher has to perform each day. The students were rowdy as usual, but she found herself enjoying their antics and laughing with them instead of scolding.

“What’s going on?” her friend asked her at lunch.

“Nothing,” she responded, confused. “Why?”

“You just seem to be in such a good mood. I’ve never seen you smile so much.”

“Yeah, I am in a good mood. That’s weird because I have a cold and I didn’t sleep much last night.”

“Well, it doesn’t look like that from my end.”

She thought about it as the afternoon progressed. Her friend was right. She was in a really good mood. She felt strong, confident and easy going – like everything was just a walk in the park. She was getting a ton of work done, and was even able to give her more difficult students the attention and time they craved. She liked the feeling.

At the end of the day, as the last student left, she felt all that strength, the good feelings, drain out of her until she was feeling exactly like she did when she woke that morning.

And she remembered her prayer just before she had fallen asleep the night before. Amazing! God had granted her request – her whole day had been an ‘anointing’ experience!

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“Thank You,” she prayed gratefully as she drove home. “Now if You could just make my cold go away…”