Before I became a Christian I would worry. Every day. I was a worrier. Big things, little things, things I needed to do and things I could do nothing about.
Then my shoulders and neck would stiffen and ache until they stayed that way all day and would wake me at night.
I wouldn’t even notice but I’d be holding my breath.
But now I have exchanged worrying for praying.
For God doesn’t want us to worry and we all know that worrying in itself will do nothing. The bible tells us that God wants us to give all our worries to him.
Giving our worries to God is all about trust. As a non believer I couldn’t do this; my experience tells me that only as I started to get to know him and began to trust him, to realise that he was interested in my life, could I give him my worries too. In return I would receive peace. The unexpected peace, peace that makes no sense, peace that the bible talks about.
Today, if I feel my neck tensing up again I remember that I’m forgetting to pray about it. It’s as though I am gathering up my concerns and those belonging to all those dear to me, (who talk to me about life) and it’s as though I’m holding them all in my arms and knowing that if there is one more thing then I will drop them all onto the ground and they will smash into a thousand pieces. But they will still be at my feet.
So I pray.
And if I pray and talk to God, the Holy Spirit, who intercedes, will gather them up. It’s as though the Holy Spirit will sweep up all the pieces and tip them all into a wheelbarrow and trundle them over to the cross. It’s as though there is a hole at the foot of the cross and that even in the winter, when the ground is hard, the Holy Spirit will tip everything into the hole and bury it.
And then I am filled with beautiful peace.
The hole at the cross is so deep, my aching arms could never reach those pieces.
I have forgotten some of those worries. They are buried. All gone.
But others are still there, or new ones and when the thoughts come, I pray again and give them to God.
God isn’t worried. He sits. He isn’t pacing around, he is seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms and knowing that comforts me.
So I pray again and then there is praying and waiting and trusting.
We all find waiting hard but God tells me it will be ok. And then there is more peace. My shoulders soften and my breathing becomes slow and deep as it should be.
Sometimes if I forget this, I read my poem over and over until I remember that on my own I can do nothing, but if I trust and know that there is God then I have real peace, the peace that can only come from God.
Take me from the overwhelming storm of endless thoughts in my head
crashing like waves across the rocks
and the not knowing,
to the cool, calm waters in my soul,
heavy with the weight of eternal wisdom
and the Destiny
and the promise of all that is yet to be.
Let the me inside rest in the calm waters
and float in the place where the water laps in my ears,
so that the only sound is the muffled echo of the ocean’s depth
And the only thoughts are of You.
I am still again.