Who is in control?
Although we understand that many people have experienced great blessings through 2020, taken on the whole I think I can say on behalf of a good many of us that the year past has been a bit of a disaster, like we are no longer in control. Lives lost, lives destroyed, economies shattered, elections lost, riots, anarchy, global tensions...
Natural disasters, political disasters, moral disasters...
At this point, the easiest response for a Christian is: "God is in control. It's all part of God's plan." However, is that really the best response?
It's not that that isn't true; if fact, nothing could be truer! But... Saying this to someone who has suffered loss seems... kind of hollow?
Why would this be a hollow response? Well, the normal human condition is to try to control our own destiny. We assume control, work hard to get to our goal, tweak our plans, try new things, get upset, try something else, scratch our heads, tweak our plans, and finally, when we have exhausted everything, we say, "God is in control. It's all part of God's plan."
Of course, if we succeed, we tend to thank God as an afterthought.
The time for saying "God is in control. It's all part of God's plan," is at the start, before things go right or wrong. We should remember what James said, (James 4:13-16) particularly the part: Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."
When we make our plans, we should say, "God is in control. It's all part of God's plan.". If we had a great 2020, we should say, "God is in control. It's all part of God's plan." If we have an ordinary year, we can also say, "God is in control. It's all part of God's plan."
An appropriate response
When we look back over a sea of devastation that might have been your 2020, perhaps an appropriate response would be as Paul made when his own smug world crashed around him, as he was knocked to the ground by a blast of pure energy, and Jesus confronted him on the way to Damascus: "Lord, what would you have me do?" (This is recorded in the King James Version in Acts 9:6, and as a "flash-back" in all versions in Acts 22:10)
Good times, bad times, prosperity, disasters, feast, famine... they will always fill our years. Of course God is in control. We would not be believers if we didn't already acknowledge this. However, when we have a lousy year, "Lord, what do you want me to do now?" When we have a fabulous year: "Lord, what do you want me to do now?"
This not only acknowledges that God is indeed in control, but also that we are prepared to yield to his control, to be part of the plan, and not just accept his plan when all else fails.
May God make clear your way for 2021.
Greg Simon BA; Dip Ed; Cert Teach
Greg has taught and tutored secondary Maths, Science and ICT for over thirty years, and has been a school principal before dedicating his life to working with home-educating families. He was actively involved with the homeschooling of his four children.