Less Is Best: Counterintuitive Lessons on Control
Last week I had lunch with a new friend at an adorable restaurant in Downtown Franklin called the Mercantile. (It’s the cutest soup, sandwich and salad shop you could imagine, and they always have fresh flowers in blue mason jars sitting on top of each table. Very Joanna Gaines!)
My friend and her family are adopting a baby boy from China, and I couldn’t wait to hear the latest details about their upcoming trip to bring their son home. Their adoption story is filled with such joy, love, prayer and patience. This brave calling also requires accepting a lot of unknowns about the future.
At one point, I asked her, “How do you do it? How do you manage all of these unknowns, especially when they involve people you care about so much?”
She paused, understanding the weight of my question.
“Not knowing just makes me rely on God all the more,” she replied, then added, “and that’s not a bad thing.”
What a message! My friend hit the nail on the head in describing a theme that God has been teaching me lately:
Not knowing can be good. Not understanding is okay. Not having control helps us yield our desires to Him, which is actually where they should be in the first place.
I don’t know about you, but the whole “less is more” concept when it comes to control is strongly counterintuitive to me. In my own little ideal world, I would make plans, lay out a strategy and ask God, “Does this sound good to You? Yes? Great!”
But guess what, guys? I am not God. This realization is a human-wide struggle goes back all the way to the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve thought they had the right to know as much God.
God knew what was best for them. He loved them. They didn’t need to understand everything to trust that His plan was right and good.
Furthermore, they didn’t deserve to understand everything.
Yielding our rights, expectations and understandings to God is a difficult but beautiful process. It brings us back to where we’re meant to be. The more we let go of ourselves, the more we are able to embrace the Gospel of Christ and live the good life — the best life — that God has prepared for us.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, CSB).