• Jason Wade


15 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:1-4

Well, it happened today. School started back and I have sent my oldest to her first day of high school and my youngest to her last day of elementary school. I actually told my youngest that she was a part of the senior class of the elementary school. All of our hopes and dreams walked into those classrooms today with prayers of protection and discernment for a new year. So today, I really thought of the words out of control as something we can all take a moment to think through in our daily journey. I honestly am not meaning that there is something so chaotic that it cannot be controlled or that we are so stressed because we are to capable of impacting change, but I honestly thought about the authority that we give to others who have the chance to change the lives of those most precious to us. You know I could have easily said to my girls that I was not going to let them go to school today because I want to protect them from the rest of the world. I could have easily said that I don't want them to be influenced by the world and I want to protect you with everything that I can, but I know that that is truly an impossibility. What I realized today is that I have to truly relinquish my control and give all of that angst and concern over to God.

Yes, I know that there are many things that we think that we are in control of on a daily basis, but maybe it is the reality that God is only giving us control over certain things to prepare us to relinquish that control when the next steps of our faith journey begin. I know that I have way more education than I will ever truly be able to use, but I also know that God has given me the opportunity to learn so that I can use that knowledge to help others in their journey

with Him. I know that there are things that I will never be able to control, and even though that may be difficult for many of us, it does not mean that God is not ready to teach us even more valuable lessons about letting go and letting God be in control. That is the beauty of the image I saw today as both of my girls headed off to take another step. There was nothing more that I could do but help to take the time and pray over them, their friends, the new people that would encounter, their teachers and literally drive around the campus and pray for revival to break out. See those are the things that God's asks of us when we relinquish our control. We are capable of seeing things in a different light and realizing the importance of paying for the bigger picture and not just the small piece we want to control. I want those things that I am struggling to change to be out of my control and laid at the feet of Jesus. I don't want to battle over the truth that God has a plan for the lives of my girls and the lives of my family. It is an amazing truth that hit me square in the face today and reminded me that we all need to continue to pray for the hearts of the people that we are entrusting our students to in the first place. We need to pray that the influence of our children's testimonies could plant a seed in someone's life today and that is out of our control, but it has been fostered by the areas in life God has given us the ability to influence.

Reading this portion of Paul's letter to the Romans, we are watching that Paul is realizing that there are things that we cannot control. We cannot make decisions for others, but we are called to walk with them, encourage them and help them to find their path back to God. We are called to lift others up in all situations and follow the example of Christ. I know that Jesus had to show great constraint during His time here on earth, but I know that He realized what He surrendered over to God and how He too depended on God's strength to endure what was out of His hands. We continue to speak about enduring the race and stepping into this new journey set out for us, and before we can take the very first step, we have to let go of our hold on our direction and faithfully step into the footsteps that God has laid before us. It truly is not an easy thing to surrender control over to God when you know that you could possibly have the solution to the problem at hand. But it causes us to miss out on the bigger picture that God is trying to reveal, and sometimes the failures are the means to get us to where we are supposed to be in this life. Paul was one that truly changed his thoughts from being in control to allowing God the privilege to lead. It started from Paul's very first encounter when he was blinded and had to rely on a servant to lead him to his next step in this life. Would we be willing to do that or do you think that we would continue to try and find a solution on our own?

It truly is not easy to release control and trust in God. It is easy to say that we will do it, but it is completely different when we try to live it out. All I can say to us all is that God has such a bigger plan and I ask you to continue to pray for me as I pray for you that we can all come to this peace of letting go. We have all faced so many different ups and downs and we are all very protective of our hearts. We don't want to feel the pain, sorrow or loss, but sometimes

they are the necessities in life that cause us to truly realize how tightly we have been holding on to the controls. We fail to see the opportunity of joy that may come in the morning when we let God take over when we are weak. We may continue to fail to see the lives that could be changed when become a vessel for God instead of trying to be the interpreter of God. Control is a very crazy thing and I hope and pray that all of us continue to keep it in check. I pray that we enter each day asking God to take hold of all our situations and lay our control at His feet. God is going to place us in positions of authority to lead, that is not the control I am talking about letting go. The control we continue to hold on to is the one where we want to lead our way and do things our way instead of leading the way God is directing our path. For all of us that woke up this morning, I hope and pray you understand one thing. There is only ONE GOD that is control of this life, and we are NOT god. We are a part of His plan and creation that is intended to help lead others to let go and let God be glorified. Thank you God for helping me to be out of control today and for allowing me the courage to trust you in all things.

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