April 5, 2010
My friend, Rich Parlee, every now and then sends out little snippets of writing to a circle of friends – and I am so pleased to be included in that circle. Recently, he sent out the following comments, called “Emptying Your Worry File,” which I am happy to pass on to you. At the end, I have added my response. Rich wrote:
“I have a 'file' in my mind marked 'Problems'. Sometimes I call it 'The Worry File'. I visit it every night, review it, rearrange it, fret over it and, generally waste God's time and mine. Religious advice says that I should 'pray about it' but, in all honesty, my attempts at item by item attention does little more than more conventional secular fussing. All this consideration - even the praying - accomplishes little for me. Indeed it guarantees a bad sleep.
Lately, I have found that there is another file in the 'filing cabinet' of my experience. It is called 'God's solution file' and it is far beyond my understanding. This one is God's file and He deals with it in His own time. All I can do is take things out of my 'worry file' and move them over into His 'solution file'. I have the problem; He has the solution. I cannot solve many of the problems in my file - they are completely beyond my control. But I can choose to move them to where God can deal with them in his own way. In computer language, I 'drag and drop' my worry files into His vast solution file then leave the outworking to Him.
1 Peter 5:7 tells us to "Cast all our cares on Him because He cares for you." I think I have mis-understood this verse until now.
The cares we are invited to cast are 'anxieties, worries concerns'.(Amplified Bible) We have always understood this, I think. But the word is used twice. In the second instance, it means the same thing as in the first meaning that God somehow deals in anxieties, cares and worries on our behalf, instead of us. It does not simply mean "He loves us therefore don't worry"; He says - if I may be almost irreverent - "Stop fretting and worrying. Worrying is my department. Leave the worrying to Me" (Now, of course, God does not worry. He sees the end from the beginning and deals with our small cares in His own time and in His own way. I only know that I have experienced a measure of relief in simply dragging and dropping my cares into His 'worry file' and leaving them there.)
One of the effects if this is that it has greatly abbreviated my prayers. I no longer spell out all my suggestions for God to consider. I no longer burden Him with verbiage as to how He should fix the mess in my worry file. I simply give him the problems: a name or two, a face, a brief description for my benefit; not His - dear ones beyond my influence, sicknesses beyond my control, world chaos I can do nothing about, the insanity of the Muslim world, Western cultures in crises - all of them. I state the problems briefly and leave the solutions to Him. I drag them from my 'sorry file' and drop them into His solution file. He does not need my suggestions for His solution, only the transfer of cares from my file to His. He can do the rest.”
And I responded….
Believe it or not, I have been reading this over and over! I relate to it soooo much!
I myself have really discovered that "God's solution file" in the past couple years - since I really finally came to understand that GOD LOVES ME!!! - and I have been filing stuff in it non-stop. Of course every now and then, I get back to that "Worry file" because I think, "Oh my goodness, I'm not praying like I used to. I don't have those long lists, and I don't pray for the same things over and over and over, so I mustn't be "persevering in prayer;" and then I come across people who think that praying "God's will be done" is a cop-out or shows a lack of faith (though if you ask me, it's really a huge step-forward in faith!).
And yet, wow, I just love being able to say, "Papa, You really do know what is best, and I really don't know what would be the best solution to anything, so here You are - please just take care of it, You can see the whole tapestry, including all the knots and tangles on the back side, and You are, are, are, are in control! So please just do whatever YOU want!" It is SUCH a relief!!! I love love love His timing, His solutions, His purposes, His plans, His ways! They are so much more exciting and adventuresome and awesome than anything I can come up with!!!!
We used to sing that little ditty, "Our God is so big, so great and so mighty, There is nothing our God can't do" -- but I don't think most of the time we really understood that at all... And when we did get it sometimes, it was more like still thinking in terms of Him doing things "our way"... But the awesome thing is that He is so so so so beyond anything we can imagine... and if we can only take hold of that... even a little... then we can begin to see how "letting go and letting God" is opening our lives to an existence beyond anything we can possibly imagine! An existence that puts stuff like "extreme sports" totally into a non-risk-taking category, lol!
Oh what a relief it is - and what an awesome, amazing, unbelievable adventure! And it turns the "bad times" into exciting amazing possibilities - and into the total knowledge that our God IS in control and that "all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose." ALL THINGS! Do I want to be in relationship with a God like that? You bet! Who wouldn't????? (If only our eyes could be opened wider, faster... lol... maybe we wouldn't appreciate it as much, eh....)
Oh Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit - I love You! My Lord and My God!!! Creator, Savior, the One Who is ALL!!! And yet who really and truly loves me – unconditionally, totally! Amazing grace, love, mercy! Yes!!!! Thank You, Lord!!!! :-)
(And thanks, Rich).