“You have to be in charge, FOREVER!” This was my five-year-old’s response after I had been teasing him that I was going to take a break from being in charge.
I said the kids could be the parents and the parents were going to stop being in charge for a while. At first he laughed, and the joke carried on as we talked about him and his three-year-old sister cooking dinner, driving cars, and other tasks he perceived as “adult” jobs.
Eventually, though, the joke stopped being funny, and he very seriously blurted out that he didn’t want to be in charge, followed up with his “You have to be in charge, FOREVER!” sentiment. At that moment, I was struck by the reality that “being in control” might not be what we truly want.
We want control, but how much?
All parents experience tension when their child wants control over something that isn’t theirs to control. Little ones are constantly testing the boundaries of what they can and can’t control. They want to choose what they wear, what they eat, and everything else! As kids grow, their desire for control remains, but they express it differently. Maybe they want a car, more makeup, or no curfew.
Eventually, as adults, all these realms of control fall under our power, along with countless responsibilities. We all end up as adults with control over areas of our lives that maybe we wish weren’t ours sometimes. Thinking back to our childhood days when meals were chosen and provided for us each day doesn’t always sound so bad!
It is at this intersection of desired control and the reality of responsibility that we can most appreciate the work of our all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful God.
God rules for us.
The Book of 1 John ends with these words:
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (5:20)
If Easter communicates to us anything, it tells us that God is the one in control. Christ had control over His own death, and He had control over His own resurrection. When it looked like He had lost control completely, when His own life had been stripped from Him, He laid down His own life and won ours. We do not have to carry with us the weight of controlling our own salvation.
The wish to be in charge of our own eternity may be a little bit like the game my son and I played. Being in control might sound good at the beginning, but the reality of having that control might be a greater power than we can bear. In Christ, we are freed from the burden of eternal control, for He is the true God. Perhaps you can join my son and say, “You have to be in charge, FOREVER!” to our God. It was to answer that plea that Jesus rose from the dead all those years ago.
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