Claire M. Burnett
I’m Out of Control
Updated: Oct 3, 2018
…and what a blessing it is.
“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.” | Proverbs 21:1
We were on our way to a concert. Moseying along, late might I add, for this wonderful evening of worship. We should have been there at least 45 minutes prior, but due to social activities and satan clearly wanting to fight me, we were running behind.
Leading the charge, even though I had no clue where I was going, we turn the corner and conveniently collide with the last person I wanted to see on the face of planet earth. Quite frankly, the galaxy.
I confess, I continued to walk slowly away from the group convinced that “B.C.” Claire might make an appearance and that’d be good for no one. However, I soon realized that this was not a situation I was going to be able to avoid and finally stopped to turn around and face the “enemy.”
He warmly greeted me and I managed to muster out a cordial response, that sincerely lacked the hatred I expected to feel. What in the entire heck was happening? How I responded in that moment was a complete contradiction of everything I thought I felt. We all continued to walk as a group toward the venue while I mindlessly conversed with others, still a bit confused by my lack of intense emotion. We happened to be in the same place, at the same time, for completely different reasons.
I walked inside and immediately jetted for the lady’s room. My mind raced and my hands shook. All I could think was: “What the heck?! Why didn’t I verbally assassinate his entire existence!?” Why didn’t I scowl or tell him not to take a step closer!? I want him to know I do not like him!”
I was disheveled. “THAT PERSON, in THAT moment! THAT was NOT me,” is all I could think. And it wasn’t…
I am not my own and I was bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). I do not belong to myself and the Lord can do with me whatever He pleases.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever walked away from a situation thinking only by the law and the grace of God is that person still alive? It reminded me of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and Queen Esther. You know by now that there’s always someone trolling around the corner. (What else is satan good for?) In this case, it was Haman.
I’ll quickly summarize before we get to the height of my point:
Haman was the highest of nobles and essentially the King’s counsel. Mordecai, who raised Queen Esther, was a Jew. When Esther won favor with the King to become his new wife, he had no idea that she was a Jew, for Mordecai had instructed her to keep this a secret. Haman hated Mordecai because he would not bow down to him. His reasoning was that being a Jew, they bowed only to God. Haman was one of those puffed-up dudes who could never have enough power. If the flowers didn’t blossom when Haman walked by, he threw a temper tantrum. His hate for Mordecai’s “disobedience” became a plot against an entire nation and he conspired to have the King sign an edict that would allow the Jews to essentially be wiped out.
Mordecai, learning of Haman’s plan, shared the news with Esther and pleaded for her to speak up on behalf of her people. Here’s why that is a BIG deal:
“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” Esther 4:11
In case you missed it, Esther basically said: if I approach this man’s inner court, without being called for, “off with my head!” The guy hasn’t called for me in thirty days.
I don’t know about you, but I’m with Esther! This after all, is the guy who divorced his first wife because she wouldn’t inappropriately dance and entertain a group of men at his party! Homeboy sounds “coocoo for cocoa puffs” and I’m going to go ahead and keep it cute right here in my peaceful chambers.
Mordecai, however, continues to plead with Esther until she decides to act. Some would call it peer pressure, others would call it conviction. I’m going to stick with conviction considering this amazing example of a woman and wife fasted and went to the Lord in prayer for three days. Then, this happens:
“On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.” Esther 5:1–2
He did what now? That’s not the reaction we were expecting! This man hasn’t thought to ask for his wife in thirty days and now she comes to the inner court and he is pleased with her? We unfortunately don’t have the time to get into the detail of what happens in this story, but we can see God clearly at work, reshaping and reworking King Ahasuerus’ heart.
As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.” Esther 5:6
Again — who is this guy and what did he do with the “real” King Ahasuerus? How did we go from “I can divorce my wife because she said no and kill anyone who approaches my court without being summoned” to the biggest marshmallow of all time?
I know how: God.
“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases. | Proverbs 21:1
You cannot box with God and win. When you battle him, you will always lose.
Have you ever put God in a box? Have you ever said “God can’t…” If you answered no, let me gut check you real quick. Maybe it’s sounded more like this:
· I don’t see how that’s possible.
· That doesn’t seem realistic.
· They’ll never change.
A couple of weeks ago, I had made up my mind to be angry and nothing and no one could change it. This was my decision and I was in control of it! Except in that split second when he used a Friday night to remind me that He’s God and I’m not. He served up a slice of humble pie real nice and took me off my podium real quick.
Friends, not only did he take complete control over my heart, but he also took complete control over the people he would surround me with during the next few hours and the environment I would find myself in. As I look back now, I can sweetly see a collection of moments where He postured me to be ready for what He needed me to see and learn.
This was not satan trying to fight me, but God planning to teach me. My friend has never apologized and maybe never will. He may never take time to understand how he hurt me or care to reconcile, but none the less, I forgive him. If you knew what I felt, then you know that’s nothing but the grace of God working in and through me.
“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
I’m not sure what you’re going through. I’m not sure what battle you might be facing that you feel like you can’t win, but I know that all scripture is God breathed and He’s told us nothing is too hard for him. “Be still and know that I am God…” is not some fluffy feel good statement. When you read it in its context, you realize it is a command and God asserting his place above ours.
The God you serve is bigger. Bigger than your hurts, habits and hang ups. Bigger than the situations that seem impossible to conquer and overcome, and bigger than YOU in all your worldly wisdom. So friend, I pray today that you would have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, to trust that the battles that seem lost, have already been won.
Abba, may it never be that we would forget how big you are. Before you formed us in the womb, you knew us. Before we were born, you set us apart. You know our coming and going, and every hair on our head is accounted for. You’ve gone before us and nothing in our life is a surprise for you. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways higher than our ways. You are the beginning, the end, and everything in between. There is nothing too hard for you!! Abba, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.
“Be humble, or be humbled.”