What Can Man Do to Me? (On trusting in God and not others)

Sometimes we forget how very little power other people have over our lives.

what can man do

We are one month and one day away from pulling out of our driveway in Pennsylvania for the last time. We are heading south and west to church plant. And as of today, we are heading there with no place to live and without jobs that will pay us what we think we need to live on.

In this season of long days and short nights, it’s easy to feel at the mercy of so many other people: the bank that has to approve the selling price for our house, the principal at a school who puts my resume in the “no” pile, churches who decide whether to support us or not.

Even the little things are out of our control: the person scrolling through Craig’s List who decides whether to buy our extra couch, the editing client I had a couple weeks ago who isn’t returning my emails or paying me for my work, the “check engine soon” light we can’t get to go off even after two trips to the mechanic.

It’s also easy to hold others responsible for how we think situations should work out. “If only she would …” or “If he weren’t on such a power trip …” or “When she finally calls me back …” Fear leads to anger and we look for someone to blame. 

But I’m reminded of who is really in control.

“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above …” Jesus, speaking to Pilate in John 19:11

“If this plan or this undertaking is of man it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.” Gamaliel, speaking to the council who wanted to stop the Apostles from teaching about the resurrected Christ in Acts 5:38-39

Christ holds all things together (Colossians 1:17) and His plans are for my good (my sanctification) and His glory. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (13:6).

The banker, the principal, the church … the bargain shopper, the client, the mechanic—their power over us really comes from God. And in Him I trust. 

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I’m Sandra Peoples. I’m a pastor’s wife and a special-needs mom. But to be honest, those descriptions weren’t my plan A. Click here to learn more about my journey.