Here’s the Noose
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Last week was difficult. I had writing deadlines, part-time job demands, extra responsibilities and appointments, and the normal craziness of chauffeur, cook, and housekeeper. I woke up late on Tuesday and began running down the list of things I needed to accomplish that day, out loud. I remarked to my husband I was starting six feet under. I didn’t know how, but trusted everything would work out. I was filled with a peace about it despite feeling the crushing weight of all the responsibilities I had to manage. Wednesday morning started out harder than Tuesday. Working on only four hours of sleep, I was dealing with a very tired four-year-old and a daughter sick with the flu. The noose around my neck kept tightening.
Thinking the worst was behind us, Thursday morning came with only four hours of sleep and simultaneous vomiting from two children. In between one child vomiting every 10 to 20 minutes, I tried to finish my devotions. And I realized I was peaceful. Despite the lack of sleep and the pull between having to work but wanting to take care of my kids, I knew I could give the “noose” that was resting on my neck over to my Father and He would take it from me, no questions asked. It was then He gave me a word picture. I envisioned handing Him the burdens that seemed so heavy for me (lack of sleep, writing and work deadlines, sickness, finances) and realizing they felt like a feather in His. What seems so heavy to me is nothing for Him. Not only does He know how everything turns out, He has the best solution. He was just waiting for me to hand him my noose, the one built from worry and fear.
Just like the issues that my children face seem unsurmountable to them, as their parent, I have the wisdom of having already experienced similar problems. I know from past experience it really will work out.
When I saw that the worries I give to God aren’t worries to Him at all, but just minor inconveniences or paths to teach me something more important, it made the situations we were facing as a family seem manageable. The peace He had initially given me was built stronger. I wasn’t peaceful because I could give God my problems and “He’d have to worry about them.” No, I was peaceful because I was able to hand off the worries I felt, which seemed so heavy to me, knowing they weren’t worries at all to the God of the Universe.
Having that image changed my focus. Did it mean my day magically got easier? No, we had doctor’s appointments, blood draws, and the threat of an ER visit, but I was able to say, “Okay, God, You got this.” Why? Because the noose was gone. The problems were still there, but the heaviness had disappeared. I find that when I give God all the craziness in my life, taking my hands off, He manages to get the important things accomplished and fills me with unexplainable peace. I’m still tired, I still have to do the work, but it’s so much easier without a rope around my neck.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014