“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” (Psalm 24:1)
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (1 Corinthians 10:26)
Ever since childhood, I have enjoyed just about everything about Superman®.1 I read Superman comic books. I watched the 1950s tv show starring George Reeves.2 Years later, when one of my children took a liking to Superman it gave the excuse to see the movies with Christopher Reeve3 (most of them were pretty bad) and a later one with Brandon Routh.4
One of the more recent ones was Man of Steel®.5. There is a particularly unnerving scene in that film in which the principle alien antagonist, General Zod, interrupts electronic broadcasts around the world and eerily announces to a worldwide audience, “You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.” Television stations, radios, cell phones, computer desktops, laptops and e-pads all, regardless of location, simultaneously became instruments for receiving this ominous communication. Then it ceased just as suddenly after he demanded to be told the whereabouts of Superman.
It’s been with that same level of clarity (without the threatening tone) that I have heard the Spirit say more and more, “You are not in control. You are not in control. You are not in control.”
As I have reflected on my internal responses to Covid-19 and observed the outward responses of others, as I’ve tried to offer a word of godly encouragement and some challenge when the opportunities have arisen, the one thing that keeps surfacing is the desire to exert control. I see it in myself and from time-to-time I think I see it in others.
Now I have to acknowledge that I am in recovery. I’m a recovering control freak. It took me a long time to get to the point where I can say it out loud; and those who know me well have heard me confess it. Like any addiction, rigid discipline, vigilance and help from that proverbial “higher power” (I choose the GOD of the Bible) is absolutely necessary. Otherwise before you know it, you’ve fallen off the wagon. The hunger for control is a powerful motivator, and it is easy (at least for me when I feel responsible for something) to seek it often without even being aware that I’m doing it.
In His own way, GOD has been reminding me daily that I am not in control. I think that’s the unspoken message behind Psalm 46:10 where He says, “Be still (stop striving) and know that I am GOD.” While I too often strive to be in control, He is in control. Always has been. What I seek is an illusion. What He possesses is the beginning, intermediate and final reality.
Having entered what is commonly called Holy Week in the Church (the period beginning Palm Sunday and leading to Easter Sunday), perhaps we can take a page from the first disciples who were forced by the circumstances late in that Passover week to accept that they were not in control. More so, even the One in whom they had pinned all their hopes was trusting in His Father to be in control rather than respond to their expectations. To the disciples, it all looked like it was going south until what looked like a complete disaster was revealed to be a complete victory. We are not in control. Coronavirus is not in control. Regardless of how it looks today, GOD is in full control and complete victory is ahead for those whose trust is in Him.
Remember, the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.
- The rights to Superman® are owned by DC Comics, Inc., the publishing unit of DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.
- George Reeves, an American actor (1914-1959).
- Christopher Reeve, an American actor (1952-2004).\
- Brandon Routh, an American actor (1979-present).
- Man of Steel®, released in June 2013 by Warner Bros.
© Byron L. Hannon, 2020. All rights reserved to text content unless otherwise noted.