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I am in control. Is that really True? Hope in the Distance, Part 11

Too many people don’t rely on God. They prefer to be in control themselves rather than relinquish control to God. Are they happy? Not at all. I know several people, friends of mine, who want to be in control at all times. I am sorry to say that none of them have ever said they have peace or that they are happy…

But why shouldn’t we relinquish control? Our heavenly father can do way more than what we can do. What will happen with the things we staunchly retain control over if something happens to us? But nothing can ever happen to God, He will always take care of the things we relinquish into His hands.

The Israelites were under a burden in Egypt. They prayed for deliverance, and last time we saw that our loving Father sent Moses as his spokesperson. Our God, in fact, almost always works with humans...

God’s promise to Israel was clear: "I am GOD. I will bring you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I will rescue you from slavery. I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment. I'll take you as my own people and I'll be God to you. You'll know that I am GOD, [your] God who brings you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt.” (Ex. 6:7-8, MSG).

The Israelites, however, had so many hardships and they didn’t think they even had time to listen: "But when Moses delivered this message to the Israelites, they didn’t even hear him--they were that beaten down in spirit by the harsh slave conditions.” (Ex. 6:9 MSG)

Who among us would want to be in their place? No one? I understand completely!

What would happen soon is that God would come through no matter what, and His people would be freed! There is no way that Moses and Aaron could possibly save God’s people, for: “Moses was eighty and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.” (Ex. 7:7, MSG).

God’s first warning came to Pharaoh through Moses: “God of the Hebrews, sent me to you with this message, ‘Release my people so that they can worship me in the wilderness.’ So far you haven't listened. This is how you'll know that I am GOD. I am going to take this staff that I'm holding and strike this Nile River water: The water will turn to blood; the fish in the Nile will die; the Nile will stink; and the Egyptians won't be able to drink the Nile water.’" (Ex. 7:16-18, MSG)

If God had continued to keep the Nile River bloody for a longer period of time, no one would have survived. Who would want to drink blood? We are not vampires, after all!

Then the frogs came. They were everywhere. Wherever the Egyptians walked, they smashed frogs, and this made the entire land stink. (See Ex. 8:1-4)

The next strike was dust turning into gnats. This is very painful. These gnats drink the very life-blood, and as there were many, it was impossible to get away from them! (See Ex. 8:16)

The next strike was the incoming swarms of flies. Where the Israelites were located, however, they had no flies as all. (See Ex. 8:20-23) How do we react when we have one fly in the house? What a nuisance! Most people will do anything to get rid of that one. How would we ever be able to swat millions of them? What a nightmare! During all of these calamities, however, the Pharaoh continued to refuse to relinquish control. No one would ever force him to do anything. After all, he was in control!

The next strike: All the animals of the Egyptians were struck by disease. In those days, people needed animals to do their work. Humans would not be able to do it all by their own force. It would be the equivalent in our day and age of all of our machines and computers breaking down at the same time. Meanwhile, the animals of the Israelites remained healthy. They had no disease! (See Ex 9:1-4)

The next strike was for Moses and Aaron to throw soot in the air. It became dust and settled over all the Egyptians. Wherever the dust settled, sores and boils erupted--all over the people and their animals! This was truly painful! (See Ex 9:8-11)

The next strike: hail hit the Egyptians. Everything that was out in the open was destroyed. That meant the crops were destroyed, and there would be no more food!

At this point, however, some Egyptians began to listen to God. “All of Pharaoh's servants who had respect for GOD's word got their workers and animals under cover as fast as they could, but those who didn't take GOD's word seriously left their workers and animals out in the field.” (Ex. 9:20-21, MSG).

Then locust came with massive destruction next. They were everywhere. People would walk on the insects. Whatever food was not destroyed by the hail was completely eaten away by the locust. By this time The Egyptians were completely fed up. Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long are you going to let this man harass us? Let these people go and worship their GOD. Can't you see that Egypt is on its last legs?" (Ex. 10:7, MSG).

But Pharaoh would not listen to his people. He continued to staunchly refuse to relinquish control.

Then all light disappeared. It was utterly dark. No one knew where they were. They were lost. They couldn’t find food, they couldn’t even find their own beds. The Israelites, however, had plenty of light... (See Ex. 10:22-23). Still Pharaoh did not change his mind. He was the Pharaoh, and no one would ever tell him what to do!

How many among us like to hold on tightly to our own power? Unfortunately, even Christians, who should know better, are guilty of this…

Due to our recent retirement and the fact that our kids are grown and gone, we are trying to sell selling our family home and move into something smaller and less expensive to maintain. At first we were relentless about maintaining control of the sale. Our property needed to sell as soon as possible, and we would do anything to make that happen. The result? We became depressed. We worried all the time. We were without hope.

Then one day, I heard my father give me a chapter in the Bible: Hebrews 11. We had nothing to worry about, and our response should be to remain completely relaxed, expectantly waiting for God to sell our home, in His time.

Selling our home after that became an act of faith. We aren’t worried any longer. Our Father is in control. Whatever it happens, it will be for the best, and in the meantime, we continue to enjoy our beautiful home. It’s amazing how much happier and at peace we are…

Being in control doesn’t bring happiness. Only by releasing control of our worries to God will we ever be able to find peace in times of trouble.

Rob Chaffart


 Is this my house?

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