PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES

Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying? [Matthew 6:27 (GW)]

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Eight years ago, we “downsized” which meant selling our home and cleaning out forty years’ worth of “stuff.” I could not believe the amount of knick-knacks, doo-dads, collectibles and seasonal décor I’d amassed over the years. At first, it was difficult to toss out or give away those items, but I soon found I liked the result. I’d spent way too much time cleaning, arranging, and taking care of all of it. Purging our home of those extras was incredibly freeing because it meant I was no longer at their mercy. Of course, there was less to dust and polish but, more important, once rid of so much that had filled our home’s shelves, walls, table tops and closets, it was easier to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of that which remained.

Worries are a little like those items we gradually accumulate that can eventually fill our houses (and storage units). If we could just pack them up in a box and toss them away, we’d certainly have more time. We wouldn’t be spending hours obsessing over our problems; perhaps we’d even find time to solve them! Once the worries were gone, we’d have space for positive thoughts and be better able to see the joy and beauty that exists in our lives right now. Granted, discarding the worry won’t make our problems disappear but, then again, worry won’t either! Worry, like so many of the things displayed in our homes or stored in our attics or basement closets, accomplishes nothing. Worse, worry can manage to take over our lives and even keep us from a right relationship with God.

Once we moved, I was tempted to start accumulating a fresh collection of superfluous items for the new house. So far, I’ve managed to resist, perhaps because I simply don’t have the space for additional things. It’s equally tempting to replace old worries with new ones; in fact, there are some who look for reasons to be anxious or worried the way others search for collectibles in garage sales or antique stores. As for me, I don’t want to spend my time fretting any more than I want to spend it dusting or polishing. Worries, like useless doo-dads, serve no purpose except to rob us of today’s joy and peace. If we keep our minds filled with God’s promises, there won’t be space left for anxiety and worry.

Is there something that is troubling you? Pack it up and give it to God. He’ll know what to do with it.

What’s the use of worrying It never was worth while
So, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile. [Lyrics by George Asaf]

The seed planted among thornbushes is another person who hears the word. But the worries of life and the deceitful pleasures of riches choke the word so that it can’t produce anything. [Matthew 13:22 (GW)]

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:6-7 (GW)]