Letting Go of Control
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
In treatment, the one struggling with chemical learns that he needs to surrender his will to God. He’s done life his way and now it’s an absolute disaster. If he wants to turn things around, he must stop following himself. This isn’t just about drugs. Honestly, he’s often terrible at almost all his life decisions and so, he needs to work on letting go of his will in every area of life.
This is hard to do though. It’s not uncommon for me to see a patient in clinic who is convinced that he must have a specific medication, which I believe will be harmful to him and his recovery. It’s tremendously difficult to get that patient, who is convinced he knows what he needs, to accept a medical opinion that opposes his will. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, he still believes that he knows what’s best.
I’ve been there. When my life fell apart due to my own addiction, I begged God to deliver me from consequences. I’d like to say that I chose to go to treatment, but I was dragged, kicking and screaming (figuratively). God knew what I needed, but that was the opposite of what I wanted. Thankfully, I didn’t get my way. If I’d never have suffered the painful consequences of my drug use, I’d still be using.
Most of us have been there, though it hasn’t necessarily involved a struggle with chemicals. We think we know what we need, and so, we attempt to turn our will into reality. Our problem though, is that we are terminally short-sighted. Confined to our own comprehension of the world, we cannot see what God sees. Biased by our own selfish point of view, we cannot understand what we truly need. We see only what we want, which is often self-destructive.
In today’s passage, Paul referred to God as the one who can do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. It’s not wrong to go to God, letting him know what our will is, but then, we must also surrender our will, seeking his. The one who loves us and can see everything is infinitely more qualified to guide our lives than we could ever be. Letting go is hard, but if we desire to avoid our self-destructive tendencies, then we must daily work on surrendering control to follow God’s will – in every area of life.