Control Kills Compassion

One of the worst moments of my life…

He came up to me all smiles.  I was a young dad and to me his look was pure guilty.  He was three years old and you know how they are.  I immediately questioned him.

“What did you do?”

He continued to smile.  The same smile I have grown to love as he has grown into a man.  But at the time…

“What did you do?”  I asked again.

Smiles.

“Son, if you don’t tell me, I’m going to have to spank you.  I need you to tell me.”

Smiles.

So as a strong father who demands respect and wants his children to grow and honor God.  I spanked him.

My wife then came out of the house.  “Why did you spank him?”  She asked.  “He wouldn’t tell me what he did,” I replied.

“He wanted to show you that he just dressed himself for the first time.”

Good job dad!  Great work!

So I’ve been thinking about that lately and how it changed my parenting, changed me as a person.  I’ve been looking at my struggles and the things that weigh down my heart and here’s what I’m seeing.

The more I try to control the outcome of any situation, the more my heart dies.  I see people in leadership as enemies.  I see peers as competitors.  I see people under me as just that, beneath me.

Why?  Why would I do that?  Why can’t I trust God with outcomes?  Why must I push and grasp and worry and listen to so many lies?

Pry my fingers off my life Lord!

Break the hold that sets me on the throne and you out the door!

Free me from my desires and set my heart on You!

I need that.

Wait a second!

I was reading about a very familiar story in the bible last night and it hit me. . .

Moses, children of Israel, trapped by the Red Sea as Pharoah’s chariot’s draw near.

600 Chariots!

Wait, 600 chariots?  How many Israelites were there?  Over two million!  Over six hundred thousand men!

Panic!  Run!  Help!  Pick up a rock?!

Now the chariot was the latest in battle technology at the time, and a real game changer as far as the damage they could wield, but come on!

Slaves for over four hundred years and now finally free.  Do you think you would role over and cry like a baby?  I hope I wouldn’t!

But, do I?

Set free from sin, clothed in His righteousness, filled with THE HOLY SPIRIT!  And sin comes crouching, fear and worry dig their claws in, bitterness and doubt shout their lies, and what do I do?

Mommy!  This is too hard!  I want my blankie!

Fathers!  Men of God!  Mothers and Holy women!  We must stand up!  We must stop them from taking one more of our children!  We must speak truth and life into their lives so that our families and loved ones know the difference.  We must live for Jesus Christ, daily in His word, constantly in prayer.

When you see the power inside of you and expose the toothless roars of the enemy . . . well . . . It looks like 2 million against 600.

Where does my help come from?

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?”‭‭
Psalm‬ ‭121:1‬ ‭NIV
Something about being on the edge of the Rockies changed the meaning of these verses for me.  As I climbed Seven Falls and walked through the Garden of the Gods, it changed my perspective.
A person running down a mountainside to come to my aid would be nice.  An army of angels rushing to my rescue would be great.  But that is not what I have available to me.

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭121:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My Hero, my Savior is God Almighty.  He not only rushes to rescue me, He made the mountains, the ground, the air, the planet that carries me everyday.

This Psalm goes on to say that God doesn’t sleep, He’s never caught off guard by the things that come against me.  He will keep me from harm.

As worry threatens and life bears down on me, finances overwhelm and something else breaks down or starts to leak, it is good to look to the mountains, with all their might and grandeur, and remember what kind of God I serve!

Why Worry?

Worry seems to be taking over my life.  So many things that I can’t control.  So many things that are happening that I don’t like or want. I’m glad that God has brought me past the point of becoming angry over so many things.  But I still worry.

I hear people telling me that worry accomplishes nothing.  That worry is a lack of faith.  That things I worry about will most likely never happen.  All of it true.  And all of it is the underlying reason why I worry.

I worry because there is nothing I can do.  This in itself is a humanistic belief that I have stood on for way too long.  I can fix this. I can make this better.  But I can’t and so many of my efforts make things worse.

I worry because I don’t think God will do anything.  His timing is so off from mine.  I see problems escalating – no job, no money, bills unpaid, lose house, starving family – and He seems unmoved, unfluttered.  And sometimes, despite my prayers and fasting, despite my cries for help, He appears silent.

I worry because the things I worry about may not happen.  I’m old enough to know that there are consequences for bad behavior, that sin is still at work in this world, that people do stupid things, that I will fail again and again.  What I am not experienced enough to know is what those consequences will be, what destruction sin will visit on those I love, who will die because of stupid, ridiculous actions, what will be ruined because of me.

I love in Hebrews 12 when it says, “… we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” I can’t control much of anything in this world.  But I can do that.  Fix my eyes on the one who is strong enough, wise enough, patient enough, wonderful enough.  When I don’t understand, I can fix my eyes on the one who does and choose to believe that He loves me.

And when I can’t fix my eyes on anything because I’m too afraid, too discouraged, too defeated, I can trust in Him to lift my eyes up, pour His Spirit into me, and make me a warrior once again.

Because He does love me and He’s not finished with me yet.