"Care or Control"
November 3, 2017
1 Timothy 2:5-6 - For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
They say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
I suppose the same thing could be said about controlling and caring. For example, the wife of 62-year-old Malcolm Applegate probably thought she was being caring when she expressed concern for the number of hours he was working. No doubt she believed she was being considerate and compassionate when she suggested he might want to cut back on his outside commitments. Yes, I'm sure that is the way she saw it.
In contrast, Applegate was convinced his wife was controlling, and he didn't like it.
Now there probably were a number of ways Applegate could have handled that problem. Most folks would have gone to a counselor for assistance and direction; some would have gone to the divorce court and put the marriage out of its misery. But Applegate went a different route; he disappeared.
That's right. One day, without telling anyone of his plans, Applegate walked into the woods ... and he stayed there for five years. As he told reporters, "I camped in the thick woods near Kingston, and made some money taking care of the garden at a senior citizen's center. After some time, Applegate moved to London's Emmaus Greenwich Center, a shelter for those who are homeless. To earn his keep, he did odd jobs and drove a bus for the elderly.
And his family? After ten years, Applegate wrote to his sister and reunited with her and all who had missed him and thought him dead.
Reading through Applegate's story, I wonder how many folks have done the same thing to the Lord.
They have come to the conclusion that the Lord, with all His laws which say, "Thou shalt do this" and "Thou shalt not do that" is simply too controlling. They think that when their Heavenly Father says that forgiveness and salvation come only through Holy Spirit-given faith in His Son, our Savior, well, that is simply too narrow minded.
And then these folks walk away. They never understand that what they think is God being controlling is merely His care and concern. They never realize that even as care and love motivates them to give their children laws ("Don't play in the street" or "Don't talk to strangers") to protect them, God's laws serve the same purpose.
They never figure out a man who is drowning doesn't need a flotilla of life-preservers; he just needs one he can cling to.
Similarly, we who are drowning in sin don't need a gaggle of redeemers. We only need one who has done all that was necessary to rescue us from our transgressions, the devil, and death. Yes, we need only one life-preserver, and we need to cling to Him most tightly.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today we pray for those who have misconstrued and misinterpreted Your actions of love for humankind. Grant that they may, in Your Son's life, suffering, death, and resurrection, see just how much You care and love them. This we ask in the Name of our crucified and risen Redeemer. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Alex Eriksen on October 14, 2017 for Yahoo Style. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries