“Give your worries to God,” a message I have heard stated many times over the years throughout my spiritual journey. When attending an adult bible study at our church in New Jersey many years back, I remember Susan Colaneri, a parishioner who was in theology school seeking a second career, giving a lesson on how to ‘give your worries to God’. She spoke of mentally sharing with God what exactly you are worried about. Her visual that she used was to imagine that you place your worries in a box, wrap it in a big bow, and ask God to please take the weight of that worry off your shoulders and to please let His will be done. That resonated with me at that time. I’ve done that many times over the years but often with a little guilt, and my offering to God would be prefaced with something like “God, I know you have so many bigger things to attend to right now, and while this may be trivial amongst all the other issues needing your attention, it is really bothering me and I just want to ask that You take this in Your hands and let Your will be done.” It has always given me a sense of calm, a feeling that at least I have put it into prayer and spoken with God in hopes of a resolution.
But in recent months, in light of the pandemic and so many other looming issues, I have had a hard time placing my worries in a box. It seems like there is just no box big enough. I worry for all of our leaders, especially pastors and anyone who leads others in their spiritual journey. I worry for our children. I worry about people who are suffering, in our church and otherwise, those who we do not even know are hurting. I worry for families who cannot pay their bills and who cannot put food on the table. It pains me to see so many nasty, hateful comments and I pray that somehow, some day we will reach a place where people are kind to one another and show respect for other peoples’ viewpoints and feelings. How do you wrap all of this up with a big bow? The task seems daunting, even for God.
But I also see the good and am often reminded that God is still here among us. Have you noticed the multitude of cardinals that seem to be in our area? Have you seen the beautiful vibrant sunsets in recent days? Have you felt the crisp air that reminds us that a new season is near? For so many, these times of stepping back in our own worlds has had many positive outcomes. It is encouraging to hear of numbers falling, businesses opening, and maybe, just maybe, we see a vision of new life, although changed in many ways, coming for each of us in the future as we all assimilate back to our own lives with some sense of normalcy, maybe… eventually. I hold onto hope and look for signs daily that God is really here and is slowly unwrapping the box with each of our worries and concerns, and that He still assures us of His presence and gives us a promise of better days to come.