Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:5-7
We all like to be in control. It’s why some of us are planners, why some would rather drive than fly, why many of us would rather be the driver than the passenger. In our minds we often struggle when we have to hand over control to others. When faced with a potential problem we can move into “solution mode”. What do I need to do? Where do I need to go? How can I fix this? Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. But often times we encounter things that are entirely out of our control. At those times our first instinct is to panic. Now what?
God has to teach us to react differently. Perhaps that’s why He gave us the book of Job. Though it may seem a little strange, considering the content, it can be one of the most comforting books in the Bible. Job’s life was out of control, and in the end he didn’t even get any answers—no solutions about how to change things or what he should have done differently. He got bad advice from friends, and then he got a bunch of questions from God. But in those questions we see Who is ultimately in control: God.
He was in control at creation (Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb?). He controls the weather (What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?). He controls the animals (Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions?). He controls justice (Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?). He was in control of Job’s life (Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised), just as He is in control of ours. And He’s in control of our death, with a promise of eternity that is just as real as Job’s was:
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:26-27
Knowing that our lives are in the hands of a God so powerful—that He who controls the universe also directs our steps—is only comforting because of who God is and what He has done. If Job can serve as one of the most comforting books of the Bible, Romans 8 is one of the most comforting chapters. God’s power and control over us is rivaled only by His love for us. So instead of panicking when something is out of our control, we can rest secure, convinced of the truth that:
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Lord God, I struggle with control. I know you are always in control, but it doesn’t always feel like it. I get overwhelmed and think that I need to be in control of my life. Jesus, you are my life. You are my refuge and strength in good all things. Give me the peace of mind to know that you are always in control as you direct and guide my life according to your good and gracious will. In your name, I pray. Amen.