Are you having a hard time surrendering control of your life to God? You are not alone.

Surrendering control has been something that God’s people have struggled with since the fall. Shannon Popkin points out that there are seven different women in the Bible who struggled to surrender, including Rachel who was introduced to us in Genesis 29-31.

Shannon teaches us about Rachel’s attempt to control her life and explains what we can learn from her about surrendering our control to God.

“Rachel’s story so interesting, because she seemed to have this charmed life; she has this adoring man who worked 14 years just to have her, she’s beautiful, she’s the favorite sister, and yet when you kind of look under the covers in Rachel story, it’s not really pretty.”

“Rachel just spent her whole life obsessed with her one goal of having babies. It’s like she’s pacing back and forth in front of this empty crib worrying about her life not being important enough, or not having as much as her sister – she’s constantly comparing herself.”

“She turns to Jacob and it almost seems like she’s got her hands around his neck saying, ‘Give me babies or I’m going to die!’ She’s very controlling and she turns to Jacob instead of God. She doesn’t turn to God with this desire for children, she turns to Jacob.”

Genesis 31:19 says that Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her, and tries to go after mandrakes. Shannon says the root of this behavior is using substitutes for God to try to get what she wants in life.

What Rachel didn’t know is that God had her best interest in mind from the beginning of time. His plan all along was to use her in mighty ways that, unfortunately, she would never come to realize.

“When we look at Rachel’s life, she was the mother of Joseph. She played a very important role in the history of God’s people. She was one of the mothers of the Nation of Israel and we think what a role of incredible significance. She had a beautiful life in God’s story and yet she didn’t see it that way.

“She was just burdened with wanting to control things and make it all turn out right, she didn’t see that God did have things under control; that it was falling into place according to God’s perspective.”

Similar to Rachel’s story, we may find ourselves struggling with control issues. But we can learn to keep God’s plans in perspective and put our hope and trust back in its rightful place. Shannon shares personal insight,

“I can get so obsessed with my plans, my ideals, for how my little life is supposed to go, and I can lose perspective, lose God’s perspective. When I try to hijack my story and make it all about me, I’m kind of losing track that this is God’s story and that He has greater purposes.”

“My story is tucked into a bigger story that about Him. I think Rachel’s story in the Bible gives us new perspective on us trying to control things and make it all fall into place according to our little plans.”


Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a writer and speaker, a small group leader and Bible teacher. She is author of the book Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible

Surrendering control of your life

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