We talk a lot about things “happening” to us in life. We say things like “It was the luck of the draw” or “That’s just how it goes sometimes.” And there are a great many things in life that are outside of our control. We can’t determine when they will happen, if they will happen, and how bad they’ll be when they do happen. We just know that they do happen, and we have to respond to them.
For Christians, when the unexpected occurs, we are bound to say that “it’s all in God’s hands.” The statement is correct. After all, a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without our great God being aware of it. He controls the moon and the stars, causes the sun to rise each day, and is the only reason that we take another breath. So the inconveniences and the tragedies of our lives are definitely within His control. But we need to make sure we place ourselves in His hands too. We can’t just assign Him control for the events of the day, we must give Him control of our response and our lives.
This isn’t a passive thing. As I wrote about previously (here and here), recently I was standing in a hospital room as a friend was diagnosed with brain cancer and given only a short time to live. Her response was to turn to her God in prayer – first to thank Him for all she had been given, and then to lift up others who needed His strength. The last thing that she did was to place herself in God’s hands. She immediately recognized that she needed to be firmly in His loving grasp – not trying to respond to this tragedy in her own strength, but to respond as a child wrapped in her Father’s embrace. She needed to be where He was, not in a passive sense, but to get her heart and her mind aligned with His.
It’s a discipline with which I think we often struggle. We are a society of independent, go-getters, and what we fail to recognize is that we’re dependent beings. We can’t handle the bad times or the good times on our own. We are nothing apart from God. Therefore, what we need to do is to put ourselves in His care – recognizing that not only are the things of this life safe in His hands – but so are we.
How would our response to things change if we were intent on placing ourselves in God’s hands?