Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11:33 NIV
Anyone else out there kind of a control freak? Or, maybe you wouldn’t go as far as the “freak” part, but you would admit to being a big fan of control and order? I tend to be a big drink of control freak with a chaser of perfectionism. (My family is so lucky to have me, I know.) What that means is when things around me begin to feel out of control, I get a little sassy about how I perceive it should be handled. (Usually just in my inner monologue, but still…!)
Unfortunately, one of the topics it’s easy to get sassy about is leadership. Leaders – from parents to bosses to government officials – are so easy to criticize or “armchair quarterback.” But, the reality is that most situations are harder and far more complicated than any of us know.
So the question becomes: how do I keep the faith when leaders aren’t leading the way I’d like – when things feel out of control?
In chapter 11 of Romans, Paul is talking about God’s leadership. God’s leadership role is God: Creator and Protector of the Universe. I’m pretty sure that’s the toughest job ever. And Paul had a reflection on how God handles things.
Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible is it for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back?Romans 11:33-35 NLT
So, Paul isn’t writing about how he wants to “armchair quarterback” God’s decisions or methods. He comes right out and says it’s not even possible. “How impossible is it for us to understand his decisions and his methods! Who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor?”
And my first thought in response to this was “Okay. I can see that. You win this one, Paul. I don’t know as much as God. BUT, the rest of these crazies in charge everywhere here on earth need to seriously reevaluate how they’re x, y, and z-ing about a, b, and c…”
Nope. That’s all in God’s leadership jurisdiction, too. God is in charge of EVERYTHING. That means that he is using his unfathomable riches of wisdom and knowledge when he allows things to happen the way they’re happening. And that right there is the answer to the question I posed earlier:
How do I keep the faith when leaders aren’t leading the way I’d like – when things feel out of control?
I think Paul would say that it’s all about remembering who is ACTUALLY in charge. Because if God – who loves us beyond all comprehension – is ultimately behind the wheel, we’re all in really great shape, regardless of how it appears to our human eyes.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I struggle a lot with the times when this world feels out of control. There are so many situations that seem like they are beyond help. Please forgive me for forgetting how good and how powerful you are. How do I keep forgetting that?! Give me more faith and resilience in these moments so that I can enjoy watching you be glorified instead of being distracted by trying to control or understand it all. Amen.