The Royal Family and Control

Confession moment: I adore the British royal family. I like reading about them, watching films and documentaries on them. Maybe it’s the fascination with their structure and history that I just don’t see with our democratic structure here in the US. Or that I love the British in general.

I watched the news of Princess Kate’s third pregnancy announcement yesterday excitedly. Yay for other people having babies! I noticed on one news outlet’s coverage of the announcement they had the succession to the throne mapped out. With this announcement, Prince Harry (William’s brother, second son to Prince Charles) has now slid to sixth in line for the throne.

Something he has no control over-his birth order and the pregnancies of his sister in law- dictate what he will be able to do with his future. I can’t imagine that or what his desires might be, or how he is able to rectify that how dynamic.

I thought on that more as I read further into King David’s life in the Old Testament. He’d already incurred his own sons trying to overthrow his rule. Now as he lay on his deathbed word comes that his 4th son (one that in the natural succession line would take the throne) has decided to thwart his father’s-and God’s-plan for Solomon to assume the throne. He meets in secret with those who aren’t loyal to his father and then publicly sacrifices offerings to name himself the new king.

My thoughts went directly to questioning Abinojah and his crafty nature. He had no control over his father’s proclamation, or God’s larger plan. So instead of acquiescing to the plans he takes them into his own hands to manipulate and control. Then I saw a lot of myself in him…desiring to control his own life and what he felt was his. His life, his plan, his control.

Oof.

How hard is it to accept God’s plan when it’s not what you would’ve made for yourself? How difficult is it to rectify your desires and plans with God’s? What do we sacrifice in order to live within the authority of God Himself in every area of our life?

I know for me I’d much rather have the control and say so, being able to pursue the desires I deem worthy and good. But that’s not what God plans for us most of the time.  He wants good for us, but not on our terms and in our ways. It’s a life of bowing in submission to the throne, to the rule and authority of God Himself and how that looks in our life…and not in anyone else’s. It means realizing we cannot control which a Sovereign God controls.

It means that sometimes we are sixth in line to succeed and we must relinquish any idea that we can control that.

Royalty

As we enter the second week of Advent, the week of peace. I tend to look around and wonder where peace has gone. We don’t seem to have much in this season of wonder, hope and celebration. Instead we seem to be in chaos, turmoil and restlessness.

Even I found that I was searching for peace in the midst of this last week, as confusion and doubt draw in. Last year I took time to dig into Isaiah 9:6-7 and I find myself once again drawing near to those verses in a special way. Seeking to breathe His word into the season and see Him more than anything else.

I find myself seeking royalty. I search for the Prince of Peace, the author of peace that brought together Jew and Gentile. That writes the story of freedom from disturbance and a calmness among the earth. He is the reason the weary world rejoices. He authors peace between me as a sinner and God the sinless. He interceded on my behalf out of great love for me and obedience to His will. He wrote the peace between us that could come from no other source.

He is the giver of peace as He rules in His royal state. He gives it freely and willingly-not withholding from us in judgement. Paul points us to this peace which we cannot even comprehend (but have experienced as I have in so many circumstances) in Philippians 4:7:

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

It goes beyond what I can fathom and yet He rules it and reigns within it as the Prince of Peace. The kingdom which He reigns over, our holy family, looks to Him for peace in times of love and joy, and in times of confusion and doubt. We seek Him, just as the wise men did, following this star and finding a stable.

Maybe you’re like me this Christmas season, following along this bright shining star and finding yourself in a stable…not what we were searching for, but in it’s simplicity we find Royalty. We find a Prince among the sounds and smells we hadn’t bargained for. We see Peace brought low for us to behold, encounter and embrace.