August 4, 2010

Control: In or Under?

There are lots of things that happen in life that we don't understand or can't explain. As Christians we typically find ourselves saying something like "God is in control" when we can't answer the 'hows' and the 'whys'. My struggle with this is the implication that because "God is in control" He caused such things to happen, which I'm not sure is the case.

I believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present but I don't believe He controls everything, despite His ability to do so. He allows things to happen but doesn't force them to. Maybe it's semantics but I like to think of this as God having things under control, which leaves control in His hands but doesn't make Him the cause of divorce, the death of a loved one, a friend's illness or a natural disaster. Instead, seeing God as having things under control gives me the hope and faith to believe He can provide reason when there doesn't seem to be any or to pull good out of an otherwise painful experience. Our world is chaotic. God does not cause the chaos, He does however have it under control.

What do you think, any difference between God being in control or having things under control?