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Under, Out of, or In Control?

“The righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God.”

Ecclesiastes 9:1

“God is in control.” We often say this. Do we live like we mean it?

Never before have we felt so much like we are in control of our lives and our future.

We check weather forecasts before we make plans to travel or decide what to wear.

We have medical tests to help us prolong our lives. We check our heart rate, blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol level and have dozens of other examinations to give us a safe feeling. If we don't like the way we feel, we adjust our medication, get a new doctor, or change the way we eat and exercise.

We watch our money and try to keep up with prices. The economy is always changing, so we look at the latest trends to prepare for the future. We monitor interest rates, the housing market and investments while we try to ignore the hot air of many politicians. And when we have money, we feel that we are in charge.

When we get into our vehicles we start pushing buttons to control our environment. We can make the air inside and our seats cooler or hotter. We can open windows, adjust mirrors, move seats, entertain ourselves with music and occupy our children with a movie. All the gadgets and computerized capabilities of vehicles these days make us feel even more secure. They slow down the vehicle, adjust the steering and even parallel park! What conveniences!

We really feel in control when the Internet is in our hands. The world is at our fingertips. If we want to know anything about any subject, if we want to know what anyone anywhere is doing, or if we want to buy anything our heart desires and have it shipped to our front door, the Internet is like a magic genie that grants our wishes. Such power! Sadly, however, many people who use the Internet do not control it. It controls them.

People with money and power can easily feel like they are in control. That is a prideful illusion. The mighty Pharaoh of Egypt in the book of Exodus thought he was in control until the hand of God put him in his place. The rich man in Luke 12:16-21 felt sure of his plans until God took his very life. Nebuchadnezzar felt confident of his power as king over the most powerful nation on earth until God took his sanity and his throne away from him in Daniel 4.

But we don’t have to be rich or powerful to feel independent and self-sufficient. It’s easy to think we are masters of the small part of the world we occupy.

This is why we need interruptions in our routines. This is why accidents and unforeseen events can bring us to our senses. It is good that life puts us in situations that we cannot manage or change. Sickness, injuries, family problems, national dangers, natural disasters and the ever-present possibility of death remind us that we are not in control of much of anything.

Yes, God is in control. But the one thing He won’t control is your attitude about His being in control. That decision is in your hands.


West End church of Christ Bulletin article for May 7, 2023.


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