“Don’t say that out loud! You don’t want to give God any ideas.”
Of all the stupid things I say, this has got to be among the stupidest. It’s really bad theology, and I don’t really say it seriously. But part of me really does want to believe that I can control what happens. Or doesn’t happen.
I remember driving down the highway one day, around the time that my husband was starting his PT business. He said, “You know, it may be God’s will for this business to fail.” I immediately responded, “Don’t say that out loud! You don’t want to give God any ideas.”
Sadly, that was God’s plan, and I don’t believe for a second that my husband’s statement somehow jinxed us.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been devouring the words of Kara Tippetts, who blogs at Mundane Faithfulness. So many are familiar with her story- a young mother of 4 battling cancer. She writes with such wisdom and faith that one can’t help but be both convicted and encouraged. I grabbed both of her books for my Kindle and found some parallels between her story and my own. Capable, strong, dependable–she was stripped of all of that and riddled with cancer and found her true strength lied in Christ alone. She sought grace in even the most painful and awful circumstances and she found it. She died yesterday.
I want to know Jesus more intimately and deeply, and I know that might require suffering, but Lord, I don’t want to die at 38. I don’t want to give you any ideas.
Brennan Manning writes about The Prayer of Simple Regard, “Abba, I belong to you.” Simple, yes, but profound, and scary, if you like control…or the illusion of control. It’s a prayer that asks how much faith you have. Do you have the faith that Tozer talks about, believing that, “With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures.”
I tried to pray that simple prayer today and found it incredibly difficult. If I’m completely honest, I don’t want to relinquish my strength and control. I don’t want to admit that I am powerless. I don’t want to believe that I am strong in my weakness and dependence. I don’t want to believe that I don’t know the future and that I can’t control what it looks like.
Abba, I belong to you.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.