I'm driving Daddy's gray Ford pickup down a highway. I try to see out the rearview mirror, but I'm sitting too low. My teeth grab my upper lip. Visibility is limited as I can barely see over the enormous steering wheel. My little-girl legs dangle above the floorboards. Cars zip past, impatient drivers tossing back scowls. The car in front suddenly slams on the brakes. I depress the brake with all my strength. It feels like pushing through almost-dry cement. No matter how I try, the stupid truck won't stop, suddenly careening out of control. I'm going to crash and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I wake up in a panic.
Friday afternoon I'm surrounded by noisy second grade students. Two groups of strange children mingle with my own usually well-behaved pupils, too many bodies in one too-small classroom. The two other second grade teachers abandoned their classes to my care while they prep for the coming week, an arrangement we made at the beginning of the year. Neither one has any trouble managing three classes. "Just show a video. Easy peasy." Only today the children are far from cooperative. Someone throws a paper wad at the television. Others soon join and missiles criss-cross the room like bullets in a war zone. The rustle of whispers swells to a roar. Holding down my growing panic, I drag every teacher trick out of my limited repertoir, but nothing works. The children don't even notice I'm there. Compete pandemonium erupts. Out of control. I jolt awake, heart racing, head pounding.
Apparently I have a control issue. Whenever I encounter people, situations, or things beyond my control, I am plagued by nightmarish dreams. Afterward, eyes blinking in the dark, I repeat to myself, "It's only a dream, it's only a dream." But the throbing head and heart remain, proclaiming my powerlessness. I don't know what to do.
My brain reels off a litany of "what if's" and I allow a few to nestle in my mind, but plotting what may or may not happen in the future only escalates my fear. My brain spins, struggling with my helpless state, feeling impotent and inadequate. An exercise in futility.
Most things I imagine might happen never do. Besides, the Bible commands me NOT to worry. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.
What do I do instead?
Simple really. Easy peasy.
1) Acknowlege my inadequacy. I can't, but God can. "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is ade perfect in weakness.' " 2 Chorinthians 12:9
2) Trust God. Let go and let God. Habakkuk 1:5, "...watch and be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days you would not believe, even if you were told."
Simple to say, tough to do--to step out of the way and allow Him to be God and choose the timing and the method He of His choosing in answer to my need. I'm a doer. What do I do while I wait for God to work? Pray. Talk to friends who pray. Read my Bible, searching for assurances that He is working. I cling to His promises. How many times does the Bible say to wait on the Lord? To trust Him? To stand and see His deliverance?
Remember David who slew Goliath with a single stone? The giant's size and brute strength mesmerized and immobilized all of Israel. But, David kept his eyes on the immeasurable awesome power of God. Is any person, situation or thing mightier than Almighty God who hung the stars in place? "...with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26.
I declare this to be my new mantra: trust God, trust God, trust God. When I can't imagine how a situation will work out, trust God. When my sorrow and grief overwhelm me, trust God. When I'm up against a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, trust God. Even when the answer is long in coming. Trust God. While I'm waiting, just be content and thankful that God will do what He will do.
What giant face you today? Is something or someone in your life out of control?
Trust God. Then, just be.
Mabel Crowley is truly in a pickle in my latest book, THE ROAD TO TERMINUS. Traveling Route 66 with a very sick child and a fugitive from justice was certainly not what she envisioned for her Golden Years. As her self-reliance is stripped away, there's nothing left but to trust God. How will that work out for her?