What We Can Control

Ice“I [Jesus] tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” –John 21:18

Sometimes life takes us where we don’t want to go. We don’t always have the choices we would like. Sometimes we just have to muck our way through the mud or creep along the cliffs.

When this happens, though, we do get to choose how we will react. No one can take that option away from us. Circumstances may be beyond our control, but our responses to them never are.

This reminds me of Paul and Silas. In Acts 16:16-34, they were wrongfully beaten and imprisoned. They had no say in what happened to them, but they did get to choose their reaction. Were they bitter and angry, loudly declaring, “This is not fair!”? No. Wounded and chained, they chose to sing and pray. And when a miraculous earthquake set them free, they chose to stay. As a result, the jailer and his family (and probably some of their fellow prisoners) were saved.

Lord, when life takes us where we don’t want to go, help us to respond in a way that honors You. Please use the circumstances of our lives to bring glory to Your name, to draw more of Your children home to You. For this we thank You, Lord! Amen.

This post is linked to Essential Fridays, Faith Filled Friday and Spiritual Sundays.


Janet Benlien Reeves

Reader, Writer, Runner, Flower Hunter, Child of God, Prince Charming's Wife, Mom Prone to Cheer

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  1. Sometimes, even when we have a choice it’s between what God wants us to do and what we want to do, not do we want to do this or not! Attitude is everything. As I often say, “What you focus on gets bigger!”
    Lisa recently posted…WHAT ARE THE ODDS?My Profile

  2. Stopping by from the Missional Women link up… So glad I came! Your message really touched me– God is always concerned about the condition of our hearts, isn’t He? And our choices and reactions are simply reflections of what’s going on inside them. Your post compliments the series I’m doing on Job. Rather than questioning God’s decisions, we need to be thankful for opportunities for spiritual growth. (Much easier said than done sometimes.) God bless you in your ministry!

  3. Wonderful insights you shared Janet. Some times are choices are limited but how we react does not have to be. Stopping over from Blogs by Christian Women. Thanks for adding your blog to our directory. Hope you were able to find other great bloggers to connect. Have a great week.
    Wanda recently posted…The Friday Five: Of finding Beauty & finding Our PlaceMy Profile

  4. This is a great post. I have faced really difficult circumstances and I believe that God has taught me so much during those times.
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions
    Mel Caldicott recently posted…Waiting on God – When God’s Timing is Different to Our TimingMy Profile