Surrendering Control for the Sake of “One”
I have a problem.
So you want me to tell you something you didn’t know?
Maybe you aren’t aware of this particular problem. I like to reconcile things in my life. Here are some things that drive me nuts!
- Open-ended conversations where people forget the original question or issue
- Things people say they are going to do that are never done
- Things that aren’t put back where they belong
- Items that have been misplaced
- Facts I can’t remember
My wife knows I have this problem, which is why she never mentions she can’t find something before we sit down to eat dinner. She knows I will forgo dinner to tear into every box in the garage until I find the missing item.
Yup. I have a problem.
For this reason, I have been working hard to put down my obsessive ways as I “Pray for One”. My inclination is to “Pray for One”, and over think whether or not my “one” came into my life on any particular day. I can also try to categorize my “ones” into 1 Corinthians 3:6 buckets. I might ask, “Is this somewhere God wants me to plant, or should I water a seed someone else has planted?”
Worse yet, I have to stop beating myself over the head for my apparent failure to move people closer to Jesus. I am not suggesting it is wrong to evaluate my approach, or to deepen my knowledge of God’s Word for the purpose of sharing more grace. I should also celebrate when someone comes to Jesus and experience joy when I have been a part of the process. It’s just that I can be paralyzed by over analyzing God’s answer to my prayer for “one.”
If my obsession with how God is using my prayer for “one” is nothing more than a desire to see people come to Jesus, I am not too concerned. But if I want everything to “fit” an expectation, I have missed the point and my problem has become an obstruction.
The point is, I am not in control, though I do have a role to play. Once I stop trying to figure everything out, I am free to do what I was put here to do: plant and water in the name of Jesus.
Will the seeds I plant grow?
Hard to tell.
Will I always know when I am watering a seed someone else has planted?
When someone comes to Jesus, will it be because of just one person who prayed for “one?”
Possibly. But not necessarily.
Here is my message to myself: ‘Stop trying to control the economy of your prayer for “one” and just keep planting and watering until Jesus comes.’
Here is my message back to myself: “Hey! What about the certificate I want to hang on my wall proving to my Christian friends God answered my prayer? Something like that would make all the pieces fit.”
Maybe it’s time to stop talking to myself and get about the task of planting and watering. God will make things grow if I trust Him.