"Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. 'Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?'"Matthew 16:24-26(MSG)
How many times have we invited Christ into our lives and then we tell Him what we want Him to do? Does it sometimes seem as if we think that we are the ruler, the holy one and God was just created to help us to have an easier life?
We may have good intentions, but sometimes our intentions block what God had intented to be used for our growth. For example, the verses right before these were the exchange between Jesus and His disciple, Peter. You see, Jesus had just told the disciples that He was going to Jerusalem and while there, He was going to have to suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law. He also told them that He would be killed (His words were 'must be') and on the third day be raised to life.
Well, Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Jesus saying, "Never Lord! This shall never happen to you!" Was Peter trying to be hurtful? No. Was he trying to be controlling? What do you think? I think, that in his love for Jesus, he wanted to protect Him and just the thought of someone being mean, hurtful and killing his friend--he got protectively controlling. As a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend, I can understand that. There are times that in my love, I have probably cause a life lesson learned to be unlearned. I've stood in the way of God's plan because I didn't want to see the ones I love hurt or hurting.
But then, my spirit gets a check. I need to trust that even if the situation is not the most desirable one that I would want to have myself or a loved one to experience or be in--if I truly trust my God 100%--then I need to trust that He has the better interest in mind and heart. Do you understand that?
Can you imagine if Peter had been successful and talked Jesus out of going or was able to prevent Him from getting to Jerusalem and being crucified? What would have happened to God's perfect plan then? We would be so sadly lost. Do you realize that? Do you realize that if Jerusalem and that whole situation--sad and horrible as it was--hadn't happened, that we would not even be able to know our God or have a relationship with Him? How awful!
So the lesson learned is that even if we cannot understand what the bigger picture is--God does. Even if it causes us pain or is uncomfortable--it is still God's plan. And as God's plan, He's in the driver's seat. If we truly want God to be the head of our lives, if we are truly handing Him the steering wheel--we have to let Him have both hands on it and not just one. Get it?