Who's captain of this ship?
So Carl is a fixer.... Probably a few of us in that camp. The thing is, being a fixer is not necessarily a bad thing. God has blessed me with many gifts and talents. Applying my best resources to the issue at hand has helped me accomplish a lot. And certainly, God does not expect me to sit there twiddling my thumbs when there is something I could do to help myself. Right? Being a fixer serves us well. Until it doesn't. But we fixers usually take that as a signal that we need to work more, try harder, fix it better. Is it just me, or does it seem like God goes out of His way sometimes to show us there are some things we just can't fix?
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you." - Isaiah 41:13
Even then, the fixer prayer goes something like this: "Lord, here's how this situation needs to go. I've already worked it all out in my mind and I'm giving you the plans. I'll be down here doing my part, but I need to have you doing yours. We good? OK. Amen." Then we go back to fixing. Remarkably, God does not respond to this directive the way we anticipated, so we assume we must do something to appease Him. More effort is required on "church stuff", in order to establish some equation where God is obligated to honor my prayers. Wow.... There's a huge difference between doing God's will and doing my own will in the name of God, isn't there?
Striving with all he had and feeling God was absent, Carl described himself as overwhelmed and bitter. At that point, he threw up his hands and dipped into some unhealthy habits that were nothing more than dry wells. Hope was gone, but thankfully, not forgotten. He sought godly support and counsel, and found others who had been down the path he found himself on. It was then he began to learn the secret of "active waiting".
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. - Exodus 14:14
Active waiting didn't mean Carl was idle. It meant he would give up control of the things only God could affect, and faithfully work on the things God laid in front of him, working in the strength of God. Not from obligation. Not as a barter. Not as a twisted means to a self-determined end. But at peace, with the joy of the Lord as his strength. Guess what? There are still issues. there are still loose ends, some of which may never get tied up, at least not in this life. But Carl walks with God again. Carl and his wife have hope again. Carl's family is safe. And he takes it on, one day at a time, knowing Our Father is faithful.
There was a lot of meat on the bone in Carl's story, but that's a summary of some of my takeaways. You'll have your own. If you want to hear or review Carl's story, you can find the podcast here: https://www.convoynwa.org/audio/. Go with God y'all - He knows what He's doing.