“When did you know you had given God control of your life?” This question came from one of my high school students as I took a group out to lunch on a sunny day in April. This particular student was never afraid to ask any question he had on his mind; and most of the time they were rather complicated. The answers are never as simple as I would like them to be, but that’s good for me. But this one wasn’t just a general question about life or beliefs. It was personal. It was about me. What was I doing that he saw my life as controlled by God? And how was I going to explain that to him when I honestly felt like my life was wildly out of control most of the time?
Is God in control? I ask myself that more than I’d like to admit. I remember the first time I talked with a person who didn’t believe in God. It was high school and while I was working and talking one night at the restaurant I cooked at, one of my co-workers said “I just can’t believe in a god who let’s bad @*$! happen to me”. And it’s that statement that drives so many people to question God.
If God exists why is there famine, hate, murder, rape, slavery, and on and on?
My thoughts on the existence of God are much more personal than that as I sit back and look at the direction of my life. Just when you think God is leading you in one direction the door slams in your face. You see people less deserving move past you in life. You feel abused and unappreciated. Yet you come back to “God is in control, it will all work out according to His plan” as your default position in life. But that position isn’t easy and frankly stinks.
I was talking about this once with my dad and made the comment “I can’t figure out which door God is trying to lead me through”. To which he replied “You know, God isn’t the only one who can open doors.” I had never thought of that. If I believe in the God, I must believe in Satan. And therefore I must believe in an opposing power to God working for the destruction of the world. I began looking at all of the doors I felt had been opened and closed on me in my life with new perspective? Now I was more confused.
How do I know which door is God’s? Is He closing the bad ones or is Satan closing the good ones? At the end of the day is it really worth the effort to do anything but sit here?
Is God in control? I have to believe it, but I believe what hangs most people up is the amount of control. If He’s all powerful and all loving why doesn’t He just fix everything? Why do I have to suffer? Then you wind up with the people who make the question angering by saying “God’s testing you to make you stronger. Like Job.” But I don’t think that’s the answer. I have to believe that God has to let us make our own decisions. It’s called free will. If God commanded/controlled everything Satan would win. The reason for Lucifer’s rebellion was he felt God was unfair and controlling. So you could see humanity as this great social experiment to show God is so much in control that he’s let us get out of control. We get to choose. A parent who doesn’t want their child to burn themselves on the stove doesn’t tie the child to a kitchen chair.
Would you love and serve a god who controlled every aspect of your life? Who made all of your decisions for you? Who picked your spouse, your job, your house, etc.? These are the questions you have to ask when you ask “Is God Really in Control?”