Melissa wanted control.
But then the ants came.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me back up.
My sister is moving from a large home overflowing with three generations of furniture and memorabilia to another state (my state — yay!) all by herself.
I drove down to offer what little help I could this week. I arrived to chaos.
Even the best of moves create chaos before order can be restored.
Melissa likes order.
In her desperate attempt to control some aspects of this move, she ordered two oversized wooden storage crates delivered to her driveway.
She meticulously sealed boxes of clothing, comforters and blankets with strong packing tape and transferred them out of the cluttered house and into the crates.
There’s nothing like neat rows of boxes lined up in a storage container to make you feel like you’re gaining control.
The crates stood in her driveway as a testament to her small corner of sovereignty in this overwhelming move.
Have you ever noticed that God has a way of reminding us that we’re not really in control as much as we think?
The storage crates turned out not to be as useful for her move as we’d hoped for various reasons. We now needed to transfer the boxes out of the crates and back to the house.
I lifted one of the boxes and was greeted by a flood of massive, black ants pouring out of the smallest possible opening in the box — the box that I was holding.
Most of the ants were hauling huge, white egg sacs. All were in a panic, scurrying towards the fastest route to the ground — me.
It felt a little like a horror film.
This was an ultimate “Are you kidding me?” moment.
At these times, my friends and I love to say, “We can laugh, or we can cry.”
I discovered a third option that day. We can scream.
Or, in Melissa’s and my case, we can do all three.
The whole episode was horrifying, sad and yet, actually a bit hilarious.
It was mostly horrifying. Ants everywhere!
The worst part was that the ants had destroyed some of her heirloom clothing.
“But I sealed every box so carefully!” Melissa said, as we unpacked each ant-infested box.
I could see the extreme disappointment etched on Melissa’s face. My heart broke for her.
All her hard work had been for nothing.
All her careful planning had been thwarted by a horde of ants.
And then the rains came.
Yes, the skies opened up on us. Now we were ant-infested and wet.
Is it really too much to ask to be allowed to control even just a small part of our lives?
I don’t think God wants us to give up planning or organizing. God is a God of order, and I believe He wants us to be orgainzed, too.
But I also believe He knows us and knows when we need to be reminded that He — not we — are in control.
Sometimes we need to be reminded because we’re acting as though we’re the Great I AM instead of Him. We need a serious reality check.
Other times, like in my sister’s case, it may be because the cares of this world are crashing in around us. God wants us to stop grasping for control and cast our cares on Him instead.
When we let God be God and handle all our cares, our cares have nothing to feed on. They stop growing.
In fact, the longer we cast our cares on God, the smaller our cares become until they eventually disappear.
When ants march in, we don’t have to panic. We can trust in God that He’s working everything out for our good and His glory, and then we grab a blower.
You’d be surprised how much wind an ant can endure before they lose their grip and blow off into the woods, but eventually, like our cares cast onto God, they disappear.
Melissa had lost control, but in the end, she was laughing and reminded that God is in control — not her, nor the ants, thankfully.
Let’s cast all our cares on God.
Let’s not allow a single one back into our hearts.
If we leave any, they may build a new nest and before we know it, another horde of cares is overwhelming us.
Are you grasping for control over even a small corner of your life?
Has God allowed something to disrupt what little control you had?
Are your cares taking over like a swarm of ants fouling up the peace in your heart?
Care your cares upon God. He cares for you. He’ll never let you down.
The band Finding Favour captures this beautiful truth in their song, Cast My Cares.
Trade your troubles for God’s peace in your soul today. Cast your cares upon God!
“Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”
~ I Peter 5:7 (KJV 2000)
If this song encouraged you, I hope you’ll share it.
And if you’ve ever had one of those moments God reminded you that you’re not the one in control, I’d love to hear from you. What’s your God story?