A friend clued me in to using stickers on my fingernails. Nail polish is not an option for me, since as a nursing assistant I wash my hands approximately twice as many times as Old Faithful erupts in a day. But stickers, with a topcoat of clear nail polish for protection, last an entire week.
I was not prepared for how wonderful it was to peel those stickers off, even though they are virtually weightless. Doing so made me consider the weight we carry.
The people I serve in the nursing home each day are still carrying weight. They don’t have to-do lists anymore. They don’t own property. They no longer need to worry about maintenance for their cars or if there will be enough rain for a good crop. Still, they worry. They worry about loved ones they can no longer help. They worry about who will take care of them tomorrow. They worry if it’s been too long and their beds aren’t made. They worry about what may or may not happen in the months or years ahead.
God doesn’t want or expect us to carry anything. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). And the apostle Peter reiterated, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
If God is big, and he is, and if he is willing to carry what we can’t, and he is, why do we insist on carrying our worry? Jesus asked, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). We can’t. Our worry adds nothing to our lives. In fact, it takes away from our lives. It steals our peace. And worry is like a cold. Whether we mean to or not, we tend to spread it to the people around us.
As the people of God, wouldn’t it be nice if we were different? Wouldn’t it be nice if we put our fears on God’s big shoulders, knowing he can bear what we can’t? Wouldn’t it be freeing to cast, sling, throw all the worry that weighs us down and makes us anxious to him, knowing he has everything under control?
Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of God. Seek first a relationship with your heavenly Father. Seek first God’s will in his Word. Seek first the heart of God, because as you do you will find how little the rest matters. And you will find your heavenly Father is crazy about you. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He sees your tears. Your walls (your issues, your fears, your anxieties) are always before him (Luke 12:7; Psalm 56:8; Isaiah 49:5,6).
And knowing these things we can be different. We can be calm, knowing everything that happens has been sifted through God’s hands. If it’s out of our control, and so much of life is, why worry? God has it under control, and he’s worthy of our trust.