Once in a while, we experience an event – sometimes an entire series of events – that really makes us take a second look at…well…everything.

The past week has definitely been one of those. Once again, my family suffered a tragic loss when my cousin died suddenly. His mother keeps a small dry erase board on their kitchen counter, and every day writes an motivational phrase or scripture verse on it. I was standing there as she took the dry erase marker, trying to wrap her mind around everything that had happened in the past 48 hours, and says “I don’t even know what to write” – then without really even thinking about it – wrote: “God is in control.”

I don’t know if she even realizes the impact that moment had on me, but it’s something I’ve thought about a lot since. While it was certainly a message of hope and strength for her, it really got me thinking. I found myself really evaluating the level of trust that I had in God. Did I really believe he was in control? Did I really have the ability to put everything aside and just put all of my faith in Him, through this?

As the week progressed, difficult phone calls, funeral arrangements, the funeral itself, and then the daunting task of “getting back to normal” – this still weighed heavily on me. It was during a conversation the day after the funeral, that everything really became clear to me. God was in control. Here’s what I learned.

Her sister (lives 2 1/2 hours away) happened to be in town that day for a doctor’s appointment and was able to rush right over Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning I was preparing to leave town for three days to attend a work related conference. Because I was planning to be gone on the work conference, everything at work had been set for me to be away for the remainder of the week. This allowed me the ability to be with my family, and not have a second thought about anything. Other family members had similar stories. Out of town trips that ended with them being back in time to be there for my aunt and uncle…unexpected time off…schedules that just “happened to line up.” There are countless stories like this from last week.

I think it’s important, at this point, to say that my cousin took his own life. I waited until this point, because I think it’s important to point out that I don’t believe suicide is part of “God’s will” for us. I believe there are things in this world that happen and aren’t part of “God’s plan.” This being one of those. I do, however, believe that God’s plan during all of this was to send a clear message to us. The message was “I’m grieving with you. It was My heart that broke first. This wasn’t something I had planned for any of you, but I’ve made sure everything else was in order for you during this difficult time. I’ll see you through this.”

It got me thinking about the key figures throughout the Bible and the amount of blind trust they had in God. The one that stuck out to me the most was Noah. Noah trusted in God enough to take on the task of building an ark. Can you imagine the things people were saying about him as he built a giant boat? He trusted, and built it despite them. I do believe, however, that Noah could have swatted those two mosquitos and no one would have minded. Anyway, I digress…

My question to you is the same question I’ve been asking myself this past week: “Is God really in control of your life? What do you need to let go of and REALLY trust Him with?”

Whatever it is – do it. Trust me. 🙂