Who's in Control of My Life?
"I can do it myself!" Ever said that to your parents? Sure, we all want independence, but sometimes we can be so stubborn we miss out on good help and advice. The students who wrote these devotions admit they often want to do it themselves, but they're learning they need to trust their Heavenly Father … his way is best.
Wrestling for Control
" … he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled … " (Genesis 32:22-32)
This past summer, I had a major pain in my left side. My mom thought it might be appendicitis, so she rushed me to the doctor. On the way to the doctor, I was in a lot of pain and really scared I might have to have surgery. I kept asking God, "Why is this happening to me?" There was nothing I could do to feel better, and I was frustrated that God allowed it to happen.
But then I realized the best thing I could do was pray and ask God to help me. When I got to the doctor's office, they examined me and found I didn't have appendicitis. Then they gave me some medicine for stomach pain and sent me home.
Even though I wanted to fix the situation, I couldn't. The only one who can completely control anything is God. Whenever I try to do things my own way, God usually shows me that I have to turn to him with my problems. Just like Jacob wrestled with God and realized God is always in control, it took some pain and fear for me to remember that God's in charge of everything.
What About You?
- Have you ever felt like you were "wrestling" with God, trying to make him work things out your way? What happened?
- Are there parts of your life you aren't willing to surrender to God? What are they?
- Ask God to help you give him control.
God's Good Plan
" … You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives … " (Genesis 50:19-21)
When my grandpa died, I felt like the worst thing in the world had happened. I couldn't figure out why God let it happen. But slowly I began to realize that God did something great: God ended Grandpa's pain and took him to heaven. Even though I still miss my grandpa, I know he's happy spending eternity with God.
The story of Joseph is a great example of how God can take a bad situation and make it good. Joseph lost everything—his family, his friends and his freedom. But God used Joseph to help the people of Egypt survive a drought and a famine. He couldn't have done that if he'd stayed with his father and brothers. Joseph trusted God the whole time he was a slave. He never forgot God loved him and was in control of everything.
God loves us, and has a purpose for everything that happens. We can trust that, no matter how hard life may seem, God will work it out for the best.
What About You?
- When have you experienced tough times?
- What has God taught you through them?