Have you ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed with everything that’s happening? If you have, then you’ll understand what it’s like to be sitting down as if in a daze, not knowing what to think of first, or which challenge to face first, or which decision to make. There are many things that overwhelm us and cause us to fear. Sometimes it’s the possibility of a bad thing happening, or the consequences of our mistakes, or even uncertainty, there are many things we do and things that happen around us that steal our peace.

Just take last week for example: A strong typhoon hit the Philippines shutting off most of capital’s power and causing some damage. A Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down from the sky, or at least it’s looking that way, by rebels over in Ukraine. These people were not part of the fight but have died because of it anyway. Add our own personal challenges, our concerns, the things we’re trying to do right, and we’re left with a mountain to face.

It’s times like this that we need to fix our perspective and see things with the eyes of hope.

Around 5 or 6 years ago, a guy visited a small group that was held in my apartment. We always had different guests visiting so I didn’t really pay attention to him, and if he hadn’t mentioned having seen a lot of “chicken stuff” in my place (I used to collect different kinds of chicken items), I never would have believed he was actually there. Our common friend who had invited him also told me that he had visited once.

Years later, after many many different life events, he would send me a message on Facebook to ask about my dad’s art, and that would start the first of many conversations. That man was David, and the weird part is, he also doesn’t remember meeting me at the small group or who added who on Facebook. I wrote a little bit about our first date on my last post if you’d like to read it.

I share this to highlight life’s beautiful surprises. David and I don’t even remember meeting but somehow we get on really well now. This reminds me that amidst my life’s ups and downs, victories and defeats, wise choices and foolish ones, God had beautiful surprises waiting for me. This blows me away even more when I think about all my life’s mistakes. How amazing is He for His love and generosity towards us. And as I think about His goodness, I realize that I could have avoided and can still avoid much heartache if I simply submit to Him.

The idea of submitting isn’t a popular or pleasant one. The word means to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. It means to surrender. The scary thing about this is we give control to someone else. That can be really scary. But there is one way to make sure that our submitting turns out for our own good, and that is: submit to someone good.

Who better to submit than to God? Who is more good than Him?

Many times in my life, I have wanted things so bad that didn’t happen. Either the circumstances weren’t right or an authority figure prevented it from happening. I remember feeling disappointment and being really sad but guess what? Not only am I still alive, I now understand that it was for the better. I truly feel that I’m better off for not having those things. It was hard to see back then, but that’s the beauty of submitting to Him, because He knows better, and though we can’t see the future, we can keep our eyes on Him.

When I look back to the things I used to chase,  many of them actually led to heartbreak. Thinking about it now, if I had just trusted God and waited for His will, I would have saved myself a lot of tears and perhaps even have a fuller head of hair by now. If I had just trusted Him, if I had been aware that I ‘should’ trust him, and had known how to guard my feelings from worldly influences I would really have made better choices. I’m happy now that I understand the importance of soaking in the Word, being reminded that God has forgiven me and I can live differently, surrounding myself with Christian friends, and taking on new disciplines. I even took a new job in a new industry, which I’ve found to be challenging, but rewarding because it’s forcing me to trust in God even more.

It’s all been baby steps but I’m hopeful. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I can’t see that far, but I do know that I keep looking to God.

I’m not saying you can avoid planes crashing, for who can really tell? But you can avoid the fear of of tragedy, and the paralyzing effect of dread, because you know that even if it’s your plane that crashes your soul is safely in the hands of the One who loves you most because you submitted yourself to Him. It’s good to remember that when we submit to God, no matter what happens, even if we lose the things we have in this world, we can’t ever lose the One who loves us most, and that everything that happens just bring us closer to Him.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2 NIV

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
1 John 2:15