It was a stressful week, several years ago. Four members of the small church I attended landed in various Emergency Rooms around our region. Back then, I counted them all as friends, and I still do! For two of my friends, their visits were quick ones; they received proper treatment and were released to go home. One friend lives with chronic pain, and we’re continuing to believe for her miracle. All the doctors can do that day was to adjust her pain management plan. The fourth had a severe heart episode and was admitted to the cardiac unit of our University hospital. It was a bit touch-and-go at first.
I was the emergency prayer coordinator for my church, and so I received texts, emails, and phone calls throughout the day with updates from their loved ones. I couldn’t ignore those calls and emails, and I couldn’t delay in sending out updates to the prayer team. I dearly loved the people involved. Of course, I was concerned. So what could I do with all that was coming across my desk? The Lord reminded me of something I had written several years earlier, and he challenged me to walk my talk.
God never promised to give us a trouble-free life. However, he challenges us to live a worry-free one.
At the end of the long day, the Lord invited me to lay those worries at his feet, and so I did. And as I did, I was reminded of a hospital ward at the end of a shift. Incoming shifts and outgoing shifts meet for a few minutes to give updates on patients and anything else that’s gone on in the ward. I felt God inviting me into his ‘unit staff room’ so I could debrief. It was time for me to give up the responsibility for those people I had been carrying. He reminded me that he never slumbers and he never sleeps. (Psalm 121) Not only is God my night shift, but he’s my day shift, and he’s my afternoon shift too!
Yes, God invites me into the process through prayer, intercession, and anything else he would want me to do. However, he never expects me to run a ward by myself, and he doesn’t expect me to take double shifts. Every day, a good twenty minutes before I head to bed, I talk to him about my day and detoxify from anything that I’ve been carrying. I even give him the burdens he has asked me to bear. But I pass this charge onto him intentionally. By doing so, I give him full permission to remind me that my watch is over for the day. When I am tempted to entertain anxious thoughts in the night hours, I acknowledge that it is time for me to rest.
You might be wondering about the featured image at the top of this blog. I thought it fit today’s theme. It is a print of an original painting by Angie Joy, an artist from Redding California. This is what Angie says about her artwork called Let it Go. “Life happens most of the time. We don’t get to choose what comes our way. What we do get to choose is how we respond to life’s curveballs. Our response is what prepares us for our destiny or keeps us defeated. There is freedom when you let go and choose to dance upon the chains of your circumstance. So why not defy your fear. Look it in the face and dance the dance of triumph until your heart is happy.”
Let’s take Angie’s invitation to heart. Every night, deliberately set whatever worries that race around in your mind on the table and don’t pick them up. They aren’t yours to carry, you’ve passed them onto the night shift. Let God do his job without you looking over his shoulder.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
Until Next Week,
©2019 Katherine Walden
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