Like many people today, I’ve been distressed and worried about what I see happening in our world today. I am deeply concerned about the policies that Pres. Obama is implementing. The nation’s economy continues to go down. A drought seems likely for California this year, and California feeds the country, so a drought here will be felt nation-wide. The state of Lutheranism (and of Christianity as a whole) seems to be moving further away from a cross-focused Jesus to a focus on Jesus as teacher, moral example, and spiritual guru, ignoring sin and its serious consequences. And, hitting close to home, my father is in real danger of losing his job before the end of April.
Outside of training my own children to fear, love, and trust in Jesus as their Savior from sin, I can do nothing about any of these problems. I am not in control of any of this.
And that “not in control”-ness is so very, very difficult to accept.
I try hard to curb my worrying. I know that worrying solves nothing, and that I cannot “add a single hour to my life by worrying.” But it’s such an easy temptation to which to fall prey. I am so thankful that God always invites me to turn to him and ask for forgiveness no matter how many times I succumb to the sin of worry. Worry is a sin with which I daily struggle. What if? What if? What if what if what if? And when you’re already a prone-to-anxiety person like me, it’s even more difficult not to worry.
This morning, in an attempt to ward off some of my worried thoughts and feelings, I put Curious J in her stroller and went for a walk. We haven’t had any rain in two days, so while everything is still damp, it’s drying up. I had a lovely walk with J, up and down the hills in our neighborhood, waving hello to neighbors, noticing squirrels and birds and even a rabbit.
On our path headed home, there is a blind turn. I turn left onto a street that is in the process of turning right while coming up to a stop sign. On the left side of that road is a steep, thick hedge — and no sidewalk. (Although there’s no sidewalk on any of the streets where I walk.) Normally, I walk on the left side, facing the oncoming traffic as I was taught to do, but that corner is absolutely blind, so I always keep my ears open and walk that 12 feet as quickly as possible until I’m past the hedge and can then see the oncoming traffic — and they can see me.
For whatever reason (I’ll never know), today rather than walking on the left next to the blind hedge, I walked closer to the right, near the middle of the street. On that side, a pedestrian runs the risk of cars taking a fast right turn (almost a U-turn) off of the main street, not seeing anyone there and possibly hitting them, but for whatever reason, I decided to walk on that other side today. I’ve never done that before.
While I was walking (pushing J in her stroller), a car came zooming around (driven by an elderly man with his wife in the passenger seat), right in the place where J and I normally walk. If I had been walking there today (as I usually do), J and I most likely would have both been hit by that car. He was going fast, the driver was elderly, and there would have been no place for J and I to go to avoid being hit because of the thick hedge on the left side.
But, nothing happened. He drove up, stopped at the corner, and went on his way, as did J and I, safe and unharmed.
I ALWAYS walk on that left side. But today, I didn’t. And I have no real reason for why I chose to walk on the other side of the road, as both sides of the road are potentially equally unsafe.
All I can attribute this is to God watching over me and J and sending his angels to protect us.
As I continued my walk towards home, I started to cry, knowing what a close encounter with death my baby and I had just had. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to God who had caused me to walk on the other side of the road without even really thinking about it, thus saving me and J’s life. I was struck by the fact that God is always taking care of me and is always in control, even in the smallest, most trite details of my life, and he’s always protecting me and keeping me safe.
I am in control of so few things in my life, and even those things that I “think” I’m in control of, I realize that I’m really not. But God IS is control. He is continuing to work things out for my good, for the good of his baptized child Curious J, and for the good of all his children here on earth. Obama may indeed move this coutry towards socialism, California may be in a drought, the economy may be in a depression, the United States may become less and less truly Christian, and, yes, my father may lose his job. But God is still in control. He is in control of the small details in my life, just as he is in control of the nations of the world and their leaders.
And everything will be already is working out for good.