Control freak. It’s a phrase that applies to the majority of us. Granted, we don’t like to admit to it, but very few of us are okay with just sitting back and allowing something to happen in our lives without our input. So we do what any good person would do. We excuse it; we say it’s our personality to take charge. We even give it a fancy name and say we have a Type A Personality, yet what it boils down to is the need to feel like we’re in control of our lives.
Interestingly enough, I don’t have a Type A Personality. All the tests show I’m a Type B, which means I’m laidback and easygoing. Although this is true, I still struggle when my life doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to. When doctors say they need to run more tests on me and try a new medicine, the desire to fight back and change what’s happening to me rears its ugly head. When a bill comes in the mail and I wonder how I’m going to pay for it, I have this innate ability to make plans to rectify my financial woes even though nothing I’ve tried in the past has worked. When my friends and family are hurting because of something bad that’s happened to them, I immediately want to swoop in and fix everyone’s problems. It’s the control freak in me, and it’s something we all struggle with.
Still think you’re not a control freak? Do you ever worry? Do you ever feel anxious? Do you ever wonder how you got into the mess you’re in and what you need to do in order to get out? I hate to break it to you, but that means you have the makings of being a control freak. Some of us have that tendency more than others, but it’s still there – the desire to take charge and fix the wrongs in your life.
But there’s a problem with this, something I’ve only started to realize after thirty-two years of living. Although being in control makes me feel like I’m doing something to fix a problem, it limits God in what He can do. It’s saying, “Don’t worry, God! I don’t need your help. I’ve got this!” In essence, it’s saying we don’t trust God and we can do a better job than He can. Blasphemous, I know! No one would ever dare say that to a powerful, almighty God, yet we indirectly do it on a regular basis.
As I studied the original language in which these verses were written, I realized that we really miss something in the translation. Many of the words and phrases in these three verses aren’t used anywhere else in Scripture, which tells us that what God is saying is extremely important.
The phrase “commit your way” actually means “to roll it over on.” While that’s intriguing in its own rite, verse seven is where it really gets interesting. “Rest in the Lord” is better translated “to sit/stand silently.” And then comes the part that blows my mind. “Wait patiently” literally means “to whirl or dance.” If you put it all together, a more accurate translation of Psalm 37:5-7 is, “Roll your troubles onto God; sit or stand confident that He will work in your life. And in the meantime, dance.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t dance when I’m worried. When life seems to be falling down around me, I don’t want to whirl around my living room because I just know God is going to fix everything. I don’t know that. I don’t have an infinite knowledge and understanding that says my problems will all be fixed. All I see are burdens that weigh me down. But here’s the thing – we know Someone who can see beyond all that. We serve a God who loves and cares for us. When we’re preparing ourselves to take charge and be in control of a situation, God is saying, “I’m here. I know what’s happening, and I know how to turn this problem into something good. Let me help!” Yet so many times, instead of stepping back and sitting or standing silently trusting God to work, we step forward and insist that God be the one to step back and be quiet. Because of that, we miss seeing God at work in our lives!
I want to dance! Do you?
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1,4