Have you seen those grocery carts with the kids’ cars on the front? When Presley was younger, we would go to the grocery store together and I would grab the cart with the car on front and let her “drive.” We had a lot of fun as I'd watch her turn the wheel left or right and I'd push the cart in the direction she wanted to go. She thought that she was driving, and enjoyed operating under the illusion of control.
We would play this game for a little while, but eventually I'd have a grocery list that I needed to knock out. After all, we weren't there to play, we were there to get the things we needed. You can imagine what happened next. Presley turned the wheel right, but I needed to go left. As I took us left, she became frustrated and gripped the wheel and with all her might turned it right. Effortlessly, I continued to take us left to get done what we needed to get done.
Who’s Driving This Thing?
I think that provides a pretty good picture of how we, as adults, become stressed and worried over the issue of control. Worry is always directly related to control, because if we fully trusted whoever has control over our situation, we would have no reason to worry about what will happen. The problem comes when we either don’t know who is in control, or don’t trust the one who is driving. Think about it:
If you believe that you are driving, and are the one in control of your situation, then you will worry if you do not fully trust in your ability to produce the outcome you want. You might not make that sale, or might screw up that date with “the one.”
If you believe that no one is driving, and life is all random chance, then you probably should be worried, because anything could happen at any time for no reason at all.
If you believe that God is driving, and you still find yourself worried, then you are not trusting that His plan is actually in your best interests.
The first option, where you are in control, is actually part of most religions: the idea that your eternal fate depends on you successfully doing or not doing certain things. Since you can mess up at any time and might not have a chance to repent, you can never be free from worry.
The second option is at the core of the atheist worldview. There is no control, and life is like one big game of roulette. Your greatest hope is "good luck."
To me, though, the third source of worry is the most troublesome one. It would mean you believe that God has a plan, but that plan is to harm you. Plus, since God says quite clearly that His plans for you are good, that would make Him out to be a cruel liar.
Pretending to offer what is good, while secretly setting you up for harm, doesn’t sound like God at all. In fact, that sounds pretty much exactly like that other guy. You’re not believing God; you’re believing Satan’s lies. Satan’s M.O., even from the garden of Eden, has been to convince people that God is not good and that we should be the ones in control.
The truth is that God is in control, and He is good. He wants what is best for you. His power is infinite, and He loves us. Since He is completely in control and completely loves us, we can trust Him in unemployment, late projects, breakups, singleness, sickness, and even death. He makes all things work out for the good for those who love Him.
Understand and trust in the fact that God is driving. He knows exactly where you need to go, and will take you on the best route to get to your destination. Trust in His control, and you will never have to worry.