Jelly For The… uh… “King”

 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

– James 4:6-8 (ESV)

Trying to rule the world around me is hard. I’m tired of kicking myself when I miss the mark. I’m worn out with struggling when life around me is not going the way I expect. I’m exhausted by striving for results that continue to elude me.

It occurs to me that, perhaps – just perhaps – what’s made me so tired isn’t the circumstances I face, but the over-sized gargantuan ego I drag around with me. As a perfectionist control freak who absolutely has to call the shots in every area of life, the leap of recognition that all these thoughts are rooted in a swollen ego is a bitter pill to swallow.

But swallow the pill I must.

As a child, I hated taking pills. I mean gag-me-with-a-children’s-aspirin dislike for pills. Thankfully, my grandmother had the answer: grape jelly. A pill hidden in a spoonful of grape jelly was much easier to take. Far less gagging, far more cooperation from 8-year-old me. (By the way, I’m sure any flavor of jelly will work. In the mid 1970’s, I didn’t realize jelly was made from any other fruit. And orange marmalade was definitely no substitute!)

As an adult, I no longer use the grape jelly method of pill swallowing.

But I wish I did.

I could excuse all my attempted sovereignty by saying I have “trust issues”. After all, who knows me better than me? Who knows what’s best for me better than me? Looking back at my life, I can truly the say the answer to these questions is not “me”. Indeed, every good thing to happen to me – every time something bad was made good – I was not the one responsible for the results.

It’s always been God.

And yet, I still struggle with double-minded doubts and try to take back control of issues I’ve already “given” to the LORD. Who am I to ever think He’s too slow to move, too busy to care, etc.?

The simple truth is this:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

– Isaiah 55:6-9 (ESV) (bold typeface added for emphasis)

Refusing to let God be sovereign is a problem. For one, wow… who am I to every think God could be anything less than absolutely sovereign over all? Who am I to question His decisions, His timing, His ways? Who am I to think everything in life needs to make sense to my limited cognitive capacity? Who am I to feel everything has to go my way?

It’s time to stop gagging and take my medicine. It’s time to just surrender. It’s time to see the LORD for Who He is and who i am.

It’s time to abdicate my phony “throne” and accept that God is in control, not me. It’s time to rest in His goodness, love and grace and drop this sin of self-centered egotism. The LORD wants me to give up all control to Him. He doesn’t even want me to be an advisor.

Man… this whole surrendering thing is tough! But I have no real control anyway. And God’s ways are infinitely better than mine.

I need to surrender to Jesus in all areas of my life and rest my ego. That’s the only way to bring down the swelling.