Jesus, You Can Pry This Wheel From My Cold, Dead Fingers
That’s a tune I would’ve sung growing up. In fact, TBH, it’s my default playlist. I am not a control freak or anything, but, I mean, who wants to let a long-haired hippy-man dictate what forever looks like? I don’t even want anyone to tell me where we are going for dinner... ok, that’s a lie, please don’t make me pick.
When it really counts, I mean really really counts, who is more qualified than I to make decisions about my life? I was raised to be a strong and independent woman. I know what I want, when I want it, and you better believe that I don’t need a mystical creeper trying to steer my big body – ain’t nobody got time for that. I’ve got this!
Relinquishing control used to mean joining the mindless sheep. It meant being like the people-drones who followed blindly and didn’t think, the puppets who bent to an invisible God, the fools who believed without seeing or knowing how it all fit together. It meant being like the souls whose weakness equaled strength, the hearts whose joy was tangible, the community of believers whose peace lingered, the people of faith whose hope I longed for…
and that was kind of terrifying.
Here’s a thing about me: I didn’t grow up in the church. In fact, I didn’t become a believer until I was 19. For the life of me I just couldn’t make myself believe - it didn’t make sense. Some cosmic being in the sky got a wild hair and breathed life into existence. That’s logical (not). Another thing about me: I’m an over-analytical cynic experienced in confirmation bias. I didn’t want God, and I did research to prove how this life thing could’ve happened without Him.
For the longest I had this feeling, kind of like that feeling of not knowing whether or not you turned off the stove. A nagging, persistent, something’s-missing kind of feeling. You feel me?
Psalm 139:7-8 says: I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
It was just like that. I couldn’t shake the feeling; I couldn’t shake Him. Maybe I wanted that Saul conversion, that blinding Jesus-light on the road to Damascus kind of proof. What I got was a particularly anxiety-ridden day and a neon orange book called “Armed and Dangerous” - my grandmother had given it to me some 10 years before. I looked up “Anxiety, Depression, and Discouragement,” and it listed some verses. I thought the one from proverbs would be the easiest to get through,so I read:
Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
"Rest in Me. I’ve got this."
…says the God who pursues the control freak who runs.
So, yeah, I believe in Jesus. Nobody would’ve pegged me as one of “those people”, and yet daily I receive His grace; I am subject to His tender lifting of my chin when I can’t bear to look up. I have known His extravagant, ridiculous love. The God I didn’t want wouldn’t let me go; He still won’t let me go.
Even though I’ll never have a pretty Jesus-bow.
Even though I have been known to talk to Him in expletives.
Even though my default setting is to run.
He calls me, He pursues me, He chooses me – no matter what.
Written by Sara Murphy
CrossPoint Assistant Director of Adult Growth