The Stream

Over these next few weeks, we are going to be sending out a devotional to you from your church family!  We are calling these devotionals, The Stream, hoping, that just as a stream of water brings life to everything it touches, so, these words of encouragement will do the same for you. 

Relinquishing Control
Kara Palmer


I have never considered myself a control freak or been someone who identifies as having a Type A personality. I would describe myself as organized, but not a micro-manager; determined, but not a perfectionist; a planner, but not to the extreme. However, these past few months have forced me to evaluate how much of my life I am truly willing to trust to God and have certainly revealed how uncomfortable I am when things slip beyond my control.  

Like all of us, many of the plans my fiancé and I had for 2020 have been significantly altered as a result of Covid-19 - the most challenging being the postponement of our wedding to 2021. Subsequently, I have struggled to navigate the disappointment and grief associated with how our plans have fallen through. I’ve become acutely aware of the fact that I have very little control over our new reality and have been, perhaps begrudgingly, compelled to come to the realization that my only option is to trust that God will bring us through on the other side, that his plans are better than mine, and that he is still in control. Emotions are fickle, and mine have definitely fluctuated from day to day, but God has encouraged me through it all by revealing a few truths that have given me strength despite my disappointment.

1.    It is okay to be honest with God about how we’re feeling. The Bible is full of stories about individuals who were dealing with incredibly difficult situations and who did not shy away from bringing their specific frustrations to the Lord. When we experience disappointment and uncertainty, God wants to console us, and this often requires us to spend some time honestly and authentically “hashing it out” with him. A couple verses related to this that have stuck out to me as I’ve been reading through the book of Philippians with our church family are Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

2.    We can still experience joy even if God does not change our circumstances. Despite the disappointment we face when our plans don’t work out the way we hoped, we can trust that the Lord has not forgotten us and is still working in our lives. It is easy to become upset with God when things don’t go our way, and I will be the first to admit that I have probably spent too much time over the past few months questioning God rather than trusting him; however, this verse from Romans 8:28 has brought me encouragement in my periods of discouragement: 
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

3.    Even if we have lost control, God has not, and it is certainly much more beneficial for us to lean on him rather than relying on our own understanding. I will close with a well-known verse that my fiancé and I have clung to since the beginning of the pandemic. Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

5 अपने पूर्ण मन से यहोवा पर भरोसा रख! तू अपनी समझ पर भरोसा मत रख। 6 उसको तू अपने सब कामों में याद रख। वही तेरी सब राहों को सीधी करेगा।

नीतिवचन 3:5-6

5 你 要 专 心 仰 赖 耶 和 华 , 不 可 倚 靠 自 己 的 聪 明 ,
6 在 你 一 切 所 行 的 事 上 都 要 认 定 他 , 他 必 指 引 你 的 路 。
箴 言 3:5-6

5 Confie no Senhor de todo o seu coração
e não se apóie
    em seu próprio entendimento;
6 reconheça o Senhor
    em todos os seus caminhos,
e ele endireitará[a] as suas veredas.
Provérbios 3:5-6
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