Imagine having enough money to hire someone to worry for you. The designated worry wart would provide you with care-free thinking and peaceful emotions. Their job description: take on all your anxiety. Specific tasks would include: wringing hands, enduring sleepless nights, and imagining worst-case scenarios (however unrealistic). The trusted employee would promise to: never share any of their negative thoughts or painful emotions with you, never offer you any advice to improve situations, and never pass along encouraging words to you.
Sounds like an enticing proposition, huh? It would only work if you turned over your concerns completely. Holding anything back would keep you in the worry loop. Maybe having enough money for that extravagance isn’t your biggest problem. If you’re anything like me, the complete release would be the greatest challenge.
Why do I find it so hard to leave my concerns at the throne of God?
Recently football gave me insight into why I withhold my cares. A quarterback has to fully release the ball in order to be part of a successful pass completion. Once he throws the ball, he relies on the skill of the receiver to catch it. Not every ball is caught. Athletes are human.
But we have access to a perfect Receiver. If we toss our cares heavenward, God has promised to receive them. However, we must fully release them. We know He has the almighty power to handle our problems. We sometimes lack the willingness to trust Him with all the details.
Here’s a peek into my half-hearted trust:
Heavenly Father, please protect Chris as he ventures into the city. Thank You that You go with him wherever he travels. I know You love Chris with a love more perfect than mine.
As night falls and Chris hasn’t yet returned, the worries I held back begin to emerge.
Did Chris wear warm clothes. What if he missed the last train out of the city? Has he been harmed?
I’m like a quarterback who thrusts his hand forward, while keeping his fingers tightly gripped on the ball. What’s the point of worrying? Do I really think it will do any good?
My worrying leads to guilt feelings. I feel like my faith is weak and I’ve failed in my walk with the Lord.
Thankfully, God knows I’d need assurances. He leads me to these reminders:
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22).”
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”
The next time I’m facing a potentially worrisome event, I’ll picture my thoughts tucked inside a football. With my mind’s eye focused on God, I’ll imagine throwing the package full of care His way. And “watch” my fingers unfold from the ball and fold again in prayer.
Raising a child with mental illness (MI) can be a lonely journey. Other words which include ‘cast’ come to mind. Like castaway. Do you feel like you’ve been cast aside? Left all alone like a castaway?
Have you been so devastated that you feel downcast? On the brink of depression?
Imagine Christ putting a cast around your heart. Like a cushion to stabilize your emotions while they heal. Feel His arms embrace you. And cast your eyes upon Him.
The lyrics of “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” remind us of the benefits of shifting our focus towards Christ.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Rest in His peace as you listen to ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ by Alan Jackson