in controlWho is in control these days? I mean in control of everything from election results to your medical test results to everything in between. Well, I know I’m not in ultimate control of this planet and how it stays together. And well, sorry, you are not either. Who ultimately governs is no one you see in the mirror or in the daily news.

So who is in control? Is it our politicians? The police? A Pollyanna pundit? Last night my friend and neighbor, Kathy, reminded me of the answer. We were chatting a bit about the local, state, and national elections. Some of the candidates, issues, and ballot measures I voted for won. Some did not. Other results are still pending.

Somewhere in my mix of relief and angst, Kathy simply shared, “And God is still sovereign.” Her words are succinct yet powerfully profound.

Are You Really in Control?

“God is still sovereign.” Webster’s defines sovereign as “one that exercises supreme authority.” So if God is indeed the supreme authority, than no matter what authority represents us on Earth, the Creator is still in power over every human authority. Thank God, literally, that He will not leave our city, state, or country in ultimate command of a flaw-filled human. Whew!

And moving beyond politics, the who is in control applies to every area of our lives. Think about it. Are you really in control of your health? Your career? Your marriage? What about your kids and grandkids? How about your finances? Or what about your singleness? How about your friends? Is your home perfectly functioning without a glitch? Will your car never need a repair?

I woke up this morning thinking about Kathy’s “And God is still sovereign” words. With my eyes still closed, I did a mental checklist of things in my life that I tend to think are under my control. What a relief to realize that I can hand over everyone of these areas to the ultimate Builder and Sustainer of my life. When I come to grips with me not being in ultimate control of anything, I can release my worry. I can let go of the back-n-forth chattering in my head about “what will happen if . . . ?” or “what about this?” 

A former pastor of mine describes how we walk around with “the illusion of control.” Control is an illusion. The minute we think we’ve corralled our problems and lassoed our future. Poof. Reality invades and we find control sifting out of our hands.

The Illusion of Control

I saw this illusion of control over and over in stories of the remarkably enduring folks in my Bend book. None of the people I interviewed said they had their full act together for good and had sovereign authority over their days. Not the devoted Jesus followers. Not the adamant atheist nor the goddess-worshiping witch.

Even with their gutsy resolve and steely determination to make a comeback, these individuals in Bend prove my point. None of us are ultimately in control of our days. We may be go-getter organizers and a whiz with finances, but still our control of our stuff and our money falls short. Even if we are ardent with exercise and an aficionado with nutrition, still our health can falter.

No matter how hard we try, we cannot problem-proof our lives. We will hit bumps. We will see our candidates and ballot measures go to the other side. Rats. Sigh. Ugh. And yet . . . we are invited to keep going with a fresh perspective. God is still in control. He is still on His throne. God is still sovereign over EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.

Exhale. Rest Easy.

We can exhale. We can regain our steadiness. And we can rest easy knowing we were not meant to carry the weight of the world. That’s above our pay grade. That’s too big for our shoulders. Why not let God handle that? Kick those hefty concerns to heaven’s C-suite. How about we let the Almighty exercise His sovereign overseeing and we’ll chill out a bit.

I leave you with some hope-filled words. “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all” (Psalm 103:19, NASB). Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) reminds us to let God control the big and small things that face us every day. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

So who is in control? What a relief to know its no one we see in the mirror or in the daily news. Whew! We can go back to just being grateful humans.