by Holly Mackle, Guest Writer
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
I might not labor or spin, but I sure do know how to worry. I can fret with the best of them—I can spin possible negative outcomes that would make TV writers beg me to lend them a twist ending. Sometimes, I confess with embarrassment, when a situation is bad enough, worrying at least feels like I’m doing something. What do I worry over? The answer is simple enough: everything I can’t control and some of the things that I think I can.
Time and time again, Jesus calls people to the unexpected. To the rich young ruler: “Think you love me perfectly? Give it all away and follow me.” To the healed demoniac: “Think you want to follow me? No, go and return to your home and your family and tell what I have done for you.” To those who had family business to take care of: “Want to go and come back? Let the dead bury the dead.” His words are specific to the heart of a situation. So what’s mine? Easy enough: “Worry much? Think of the most beautiful flower you can imagine. It does nothing to be that way—it does nothing to create its own beauty and splendor. It simply sits back and lets it happen.”
That sounds decidedly less busy than I like. Actually, it even sounds a little counterintuitive. Lord, do you not see all this responsibility I have? Do you not see all these people who depend on me, one of whom is dependent on me for everything? And how am I ever going to keep all these balls in the air if I stop reeling to rest and trust you? How will my life be full of beauty and splendor unless I make it that way?
But look what he calls us to: not to “labor” or “spin,” but to rest. To growth that is dependent entirely on him and would not happen apart from him. To beauty and splendor that might look different from what the world would consider splendid. To laying down the idol of control in favor of faith and trust in his goodness. To the life of a wildflower—beautiful and splendid not because of what she did but because her loving creator God made her that way.
What is one area of life that I’m constantly struggling to control?
Sounds silly, but try it: If you were a wildflower, imagine what you would look like. Imagine how God would delight in your beauty. Reflect on how little you would have to do with creating/dressing/maintaining/being responsible for that beauty.
“God, I want to open my controlling hands and choose you. I don’t want to fight and struggle for my plan—I want to willingly release mine and trust in yours. Help me today to see and repent of areas where I attempt to control and not trust in you.”
Reprinted with permission: Engaging Motherhood, Heart Preparation for a Holy Calling Week 3, Control (CDM, 2016)
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Holly Mackle is the curator of the mom humor collaboration Same Here, Sisterfriend, Mostly True Tales of Misadventures in Motherhood, and author of the family Advent devotional Little Hearts, Prepare Him Room. She is the wife of a handsome man, mama of two flower-sneaking bitties, and a fairly decent gardener and hopefully better humorist for joegardener.com. Holly is also the editor of Engaging Motherhood.
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