Forgive me for waxing philosophical, or, theological (you've been forewarned), but an increasingly swelling bubble of annoyance is about to burst...in the form of a question: is being in control the same as possessing control, but not controlling? Does having the power to control everything mean you're in control?
Application: does saying that God is in control mean that he is actually controlling? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying He isn't all-powerful. I'm not saying He doesn't possess the control. But does he use it? What does one mean when one says "God is in control"?
I hope I'm not being blasphemous. I'm really not meaning to be. I've just had an increasing annoyance with being fed anything along the lines of "it's part of God's plan" or "God is in control." That seems to imply that he meant for everything that happens to happen. I have a hard time swallowing that God was controlling a situation with the end result of a twenty-two year old dead in a car accident or a three year old dead from a one in ten million lung disease. I don't think that's Him controlling. I think that's Him allowing. But the "God allowing" vs. "God causing" dead horse has been beaten to a pulp. I'm talking about the less disputed phrase(s) about God being in control, and what exactly people mean when they say that.
Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good to those who love God. It doesn't say everything that happens in your life was leading towards this "good" God is working out. I think it's saying God will be there to help you clean up your mess. Maybe the most concrete...anything...I can get out of that is that God won't abandon you. I believe that. The part I have a hard time believing is that He planned the mess.
Is there even a specific "plan"? I think there could be, if God wanted it that way. But if that were the case, and He did wield this control, wouldn't things be different? I cannot believe that God intentionally wrote in his imaginary "Book of Plans" the pain the world has been shouldering since Adam and Eve. I don't think God planned that. I don't think it's part of a divine greater good.
And now that I've gotten that off my chest, I may have to be content with the admittance that my laughably inferior understanding will always fall short. If I understood everything, I'd be God, right? Good thing He knows what He's doing (I believe that, too).