Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Shoebox

“Do not be anxious about anything…” (Philippians 4:6a, NIV 2011).

Dorothy had just seen me a week ago. Since that time she had been in the hospital with a strange heart attack, called broken heart syndrome. I had no idea what that was (Wikipedia calls it tokotsubo cardiomyopathy). Her ejection fraction dropped and she is now on Plavix.
She began to tell me about the anxiety that has been plaguing her since the event. Knowing that she would understand what I was quoting, I started, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving...”
She followed, “You know, the Lord gave me those verses a few months ago. When He did, I got a shoebox and every time I had a worry come up, I would place it in that box and let it go. It actually worked. Later I went back and read the worries I had stored and they all seemed somewhat trivial. I need to get that shoebox out again and start giving this heart thing to God as well.”

What do we do with our worries?
Some indeed are trivial and we should just grow up and let them go.
But some worries are deep; they stick to our hearts and minds no matter how we try to throw them away.

Do you think Jesus worried about His mother when He left home and headed for the cross?

What do we do with our worries?
I love the shoebox idea. Even if I don’t have a real shoebox, I can imagine one on the bookshelf in my office where I now sit. It’s labeled “God’s Business.” As I think through my legitimate worries, with some pain in my heart, I should deliberately take those worries, place them in that box and say, “Now this is yours and mine no longer. Let me get about doing your kingdom business.” That’s what Jesus meant in Matthew 5:31-33.
That’s the idea behind surrender.
The good thing about an imaginary shoebox is that I can carry it with me wherever I go. My worries are attached by rubber bands and, even when I give them away, I often find them back, gripping my heart again. And so, throughout the day I must repeatedly surrender them into the shoebox under God’s care.
Handing God my worries is not a psychological ploy. He really is present to take them from my hands. And God is far better equipped than I to manage the concerns of my heart with love and power.

Dear Father,
Let me surrender now and surrender repeatedly the anxieties of my heart.

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