Do you know someone who is a control freak? I must admit, I am. I love being in control. Whenever I feel like my life is a little out of control, I create projects that I have 100 percent control over just so I can feel in control.
One definition of control is “the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.” For me, control equals safety. Because if I can direct everyone’s behavior and the course of events, I know the outcome is going to be good.
One day I asked myself why I felt the need to always be in control. The answer revealed the root of the problem—past hurts. I could no longer trust that people had my best interests in mind. Therefore, I figured if I could control everything, I’d be safe. That mentality, however, caused me to have power struggles with God! I had been so hurt by people, and I couldn’t trust that God wouldn’t hurt me too.
A Turning Point
For most people, 2020 was an unusual year to say the least. Personally, it seemed as if everything in my life was out of control. I felt like I was being tossed in an ocean and the swells were overtaking me. The events of last year helped me realize I didn’t trust God 100 percent.
During that time, the Lord brought to my remembrance the story of Peter walking on the water in Matthew chapter 14.
MATTHEW 14:23–29 (TPT)
23 After the crowds dispersed, Jesus went up into the hills to pray. And as night fell he was there praying alone.
24 But the disciples, who were now in the middle of the lake, ran into trouble, for their boat was tossed about by the high winds and heavy seas.
25 At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the waves!
26 When the disciples saw him walking on top of the water, they were terrified and screamed, “A ghost!”
27 Then Jesus said, “Be brave and don’t be afraid. I am here!”
28 Peter shouted out, “Lord, if it’s really you, then have me join you on the water!”
29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied.
In your deepest and darkest moments, Jesus is there for you.
In this story, the disciples were in a panic because of the storm. Then out of nowhere they saw Jesus coming toward them, walking on the water. The Lord told them, “Be brave!” Peter said to Him, “If it’s really you, then have me join you.” Interestingly, before Jesus told Peter, “Come and join me,” He said, “Be brave.”
I believe Jesus was warning Peter. It’s as if He were saying, “Peter, if you want to come and walk with Me in the deep, stormy waters—if you want to go on this journey—you have to be brave.” Jesus had the power to calm the storm. He could have commanded the wind and waves to be still as He had before. (See Matt. 8:23–27.) But He didn’t. Instead, Jesus told Peter, “Be brave.”
Sometimes we have to walk through the storms of life, and Jesus needs us to be brave. The Lord will have us walk through uncomfortable situations to get us to the other side. He teaches us valuable lessons in those moments.
The Christian lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. That’s why it’s crucial to get to the root of your insecurities, issues, and trauma, and deal with them. Unresolved issues can hinder you from being brave and walking in the fullness God has for you. You have to take care of your soul—your mind, will, and emotions. You can have faith all day long. But if you don’t take care of your issues, you will be held back every time.
Peter started out walking perfectly fine on the water. It was probably easy for him to step out and trust that Jesus would take care of him when the waves were barely a ripple. But once he saw the waves getting bigger, his trust in Jesus vanished.
You see, it’s easy for us to trust Jesus in the little things. When life gets a little rocky, it’s not that hard to have faith. It’s when the winds get really crazy—when our situation seems out of control—that we lose focus and stop trusting God.
When the storm began to rage, Peter cried out to the Lord for help and Jesus immediately reached out His hand (Matt. 14:30–31). He didn’t let Peter suffer for one second. Jesus was close enough to Peter that all He had to do was reach out His hand.
Jesus Is a Great Catcher
In your deepest and darkest moments, Jesus is there for you. He is a great catcher and He never misses. When my life felt out of control last year, I had a “Jesus, catch me” moment. I chose to let go of all the control so I could reach out and hold on to Him, and He caught me.
The Lord spoke to me and said, “Denise, I have gone before you. I’ve walked your entire path that you’re going to walk for your whole life. I know what’s up ahead. If you’ll just hold on to My hand, I’ll lead you. I’ve already predestined it. Just trust Me, because I’ve got you.”
Have you been in a power struggle with God? I believe He is saying the same thing to you that He said to me: “Just trust Me, because I’ve got you.” It’s time to let go of the control, past hurts, and your ideas, desires, and way of doing things, and completely trust the Lord.
Perhaps people have hurt, abused, or mistreated you. Maybe you have struggled to trust God as a result. You may think holding on to and controlling the hurt will keep you safe. But there is no safer place to be than in God’s hands. Letting go of control and completely trusting Jesus brings immense freedom. You can be brave! It won’t always be easy. You may face hard times. But in those moments, simply put yourself in God’s hands and trust that He has you.
Maybe things have happened in your life and you just don’t know how to get over them. Sometimes you need help, and there’s no shame in that! Don’t be ashamed to seek out a Christian counselor or therapist. God has called people to be counselors and therapists. They will help heal your soul in the same way God has called medical doctors to help heal your body.
Denise Hagin Burns
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