Hey there, Control Girl.

How’s your heart doing, today? I’m wondering.
Have you been…
  • Anxiously pacing in front of your television as you watch the election updates?
  • Unable to sleep—worried that there will be more rioting and chaos?
  • Overwhelmed with gloom and even despair as you rehearse all of the what if’s?
  • Shaking your fist as you listen to a podcaster or newscaster who’s spewing lies?
  • Glaring at your neighbor you has the opposing candidate’s sign in her yard?
  • Commenting in shock or disgust over what your friends are posting on social media?
  • Not talking to your son or daughter or mom or friend because they won’t let you talk sense into them about which way to cast their ballot?
  • Not talking to your son or daughter or mom or friend because they won’t stop trying to persuade you about which way to cast your ballot?
3 Things To Do Instead
Crisis doesn’t melt our control issues; it raises the heat and intensity. When things feel more out of control, you might be more tempted to clamp down harder, grip tighter, or yell louder. Or if anxiety (not anger) is more your bent, you might be more tempted to unravel emotionally, pull back into isolation, or obsess over the unknowns.
Here are three things to do instead:

1. Rehearse the truth: God is in control.

Turn off your phone, get your Bible and find a quiet place to re-center. Give God full access to your heart and let Him whisper the truth directly to you from the pages of His Word. Here are some of my favorite God-is-in-control passages. (Do you have others? Please share!)

  • Isaiah 46:8-11
    • “I am God, and there is none like me,… saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose'” (verse 9-10).
  • Proverbs 3:5-8
    • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (verse 5).
  • Isaiah 40:10-31
    • “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?” (vs. 12).

      • “Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are accounted as the dust on the scales” (vs 15).
      • Do you not know? Have you not heard? He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (vs. 28-29).
  • Job 38-40:2
    • “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4).
    • “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?” (Job 39:1).
    • “Is it by your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?” (Job 39:27).
    • “Then Job answered the LORD and said, ‘Behold I am of small account; what shall I answer you?'” (Job 40:3).

2. Review what you Do/Don’t have control over.

There are two categories:

    • What you can control (yourself).
    • What you can’t control (everything else—including the election).

Most of us have very little control over the outcome of this election or the long term outcomes for our nation. We’re just one person among millions. On the other hand we each have much control over ourselves. Consider how you will demonstrate godly self-control in the following ways:

    • Will you vote prayerfully and responsibly?
    • Will you treat other people—each one an image bearer—with the kindness and dignity they deserve?
    • Will you turn to the Lord with your fears, anger, frustration, and worry?
    • Will you refuse to cave into yourself? Will you hold yourself accountable for emotional outbursts or rants?
    • Will you strive for unity (not dissention) in your home, workplace, church, and community?

3. Keep an eye on the last page.

There’s a lot to be worried, concerned and angry about in our broken world, so please don’t hear my tone as dismissive or nonchalant when I say, “God is in control.” I am also not suggesting passivity. To pursue the security, peace, and joy that God wants us to have, we must wrestle down our inner Control Girl selves—screaming, “You have to doooooo something!!!” down to a position of gritty surrender before almighty God. He’s already is in control, which means we don’t have to be. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want to be.
Yet for those of us who belong to God, our future is secure. Even death will be swallowed by eternal life, so there is nothing to fear. We belong to God and nothing can snatch us from His hand (John 10:29). This is the mindset and context we must keep in mind as we approach this unfolding election.
Here’s what I wrote in Control Girl:
“When I put God in charge of my Happy Ending, I concede what is true. He’s in control and I am not. I do have choices, but every contingency in my life is attached to an ending held firmly in God’s grasp. I’m not sure how this all works, but because God is kind and wise, this is good news. He is weaving together an ending far happier than anything I could construct.
If the ending were in my hands, I’d be in constant hysterics, trying to manage loose threads and snags. I’d surely be a frantic, obsessive Control Girl.
But knowing that the last page of my story is settled gives me peace, security, and hope for the journey. If I start with the secure ending then flip backward, it’s easier to give God control of the things that concern me today. 
Even if my happiness seems to be unraveling, I am not undone, because I know that nothing has slipped from God’s hands. In all things, I can say with confidence, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”

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