It happens to everyone’s life.
We think we’ve wrangled enough control away from the arms of fate to coordinate our own puppet strings. We convince ourselves we are more secure this way – directing our own destinies. If the pace gets too frantic, we say it is because we want it to be that way. If it is too slow, we say the same.
We are all trying to “make it” and none of us want to fail. That explains the mad wrangling to be master puppeteer. But that means somewhere, in the middle of the dead of winter’s whirlwind, we lift up our stringless arms like we’ve seen them for the first time. We realize there are no puppets and no Master Puppeteer. We realize the fate controlling position we have been desperate to maintain is not a position at all.
It doesn’t matter if the ways we want to “make it” are worldly or heaven worthy. It doesn’t matter if our aspirations are corporate ladders or non-profit puzzles. It doesn’t matter whether or not we are clever. It doesn’t even matter if we have felt success.
What matters is that somewhere, in the middle of the dead of winter’s whirlwind, we see that only God is sovereign.
Maybe in theory, we always knew. We read the verses and heard the sermons and listened to friends’ humbled tales. We looked up at that great blue expanse and at the speckled night sky. We blinked eyes open in the morning and held joy in our hands. In theory, we always knew this world was too mysterious and painful and beauty-drenched to be contained by strings we could hold.
The devil in us convinced us it was possible and we believed.
But there’s something about winter that unravels the belief that we can control anything. Maybe it is standing on a subway platform wondering if our ten toes are still in tact. Or maybe it is trudging miles every day against the wind to catch public transit so we can make it 3.7 miles across the borough. Maybe it is lugging laundry 3 blocks away in wintry snow/rain mix. Or maybe it is gaining weight and wearing layers like marshmallows.
And when winter does unravel this foolish belief that we can be the Master Puppeteer (and that there is such a thing at all), we collapse a little bit with a great sigh. We fold into relief that it doesn’t depend on our performance or our planning. We re-read the words we’ve already memorized in Scripture and we nestle in to a future we cannot control.
“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
“Let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.”
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
“Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”
1 John 3:22
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation.”
We bless the Lord who daily bears our burdens – not as a Puppeteer but as a Savior. We bless the Lord as we claim His control over the future and the past and the present. We bless the Lord as we live today believing He is able to make grace abound.