On Tornadoes, Trust and Who Is Truly In Control…

I am super sleepy this morning and it is my own fault.
It’s all about giving up control.

You see, I am currently on vacation in Alabama, staying with dear friends.
Dear friends who happen to live in Tornado Alley.

Severe storms were predicted for last night and by the time we went to bed, they had already wreaked havoc in Louisiana. But my friends are used to such things and have a plan, a system, a way of being safe. The town has a sophisticated tornado warning system and this happens frequently enough that my friends have safety down to a science. So they told me that they would come and get me if we needed to take shelter in their “tornado closet”.

But, foolishly, I decided to leave the volume on my phone turned up instead of turning it way down or muting it like I usually do.
And so I was startled awake every time a notification came in.
The junk e-mail.
The weather alert that said it was going to start raining soon.
The e-mail from a friend who is a night owl.
And yes, eventually, the tornado watch and warning that came.

Thankfully, I was able to go back to sleep each time.
But in the harsh light of a morning where I cannot keep my eyes open (and I am a morning person), the truth hit me.
I was not willing to give up control.
I could have easily muted my notifications.
But that meant I would have been completely trusting my friends to keep me safe.
And, more than that, completely trusting God as well.

I have absolutely no reason to distrust either of them, my dear friends or my Beloved God.
My friends have been in my life for almost 20 years.
We have walked many, many perilous paths together.
They are some of the most trustworthy and faithful people I know.
And they would never let anything happen to me if they could prevent it.

And I have even less reason to distrust God.
He has proven Himself faithful time and time and time again.
I know that “my life is in His hands”. (Psalm 66:9)
I know that my “days were numbered before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16)
I know that He knows when the sparrow falls – and I am worth far more than a sparrow. (Matthew 10)

Or, I should say, I know those things in my head.

But last night, I chose to not apply what I know to be true.
And today I am paying the price.
Which, in His mercy, is simply sleepiness.

But how often do I do this same thing in life?
I say I trust God – but then I take matters into my own hands.
He is not moving fast enough for me – I have to help Him out.
He is not doing what I want Him to do – I have to figure out how to change things.
He is not coming through for me like I think He should – I have to rely on my own resources.

How foolish!
How insane!

The God of the Universe knows my name.
The number of hairs on my head.
My thoughts before I think them.
The good works He has prepared in advance for me to do.
The plan He has for my life.
The number of days I will live.
Every word I speak before I speak it.

The God of the Universe gave His one and only Son to be my Savior so that we could be in relationship.
Proof positive that He is there for me, is looking out for me, is worthy of all my trust.

And yes, His ways are not like mine.
He is often mysterious.
And often does not do things the way I think He should.

But He is good.
Oh, so good.
And I know that He is worth trusting.
Worth believing.
Worth acknowledging in all my ways.
Worth resting upon.

Because that is the bottom line in all of this.
I can choose control.
Or, more accurately, the illusion that I am in control.
Or I can choose rest.
Letting go and trusting Him to be a far better God than I could ever be.

Last night I chose control.
And forfeited rest.
Foolish me.
Sleepy me.
And yet forgiven me.

Thank God, His mercies are new every morning!
OK, Lord, let’s try this again…

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