Monday, August 8, 2011

Taking Out the Trash

     Yesterday I had a lot on my mind as I was gearing up to walk the trash receptacles out to the curb. I was feeling disconnected in my marriage. My daughter had been disobedient and dishonest the night before and I was going to have to dole out some heavy consequences. I began to fret and then remembered how just two weeks ago I was blissfully happy with so much to be thankful for and how now I felt so unhappy. I immediately thought of Satan and how he loves to watch God’s children wallow in self pity and worry. This got my stubborn bone working and made me decide that he would not get a foothold on my joy. So I began to pray and I prayed the whole time I was taking the trash to the curb. Then I continued to pray while taking the recycling there also. When this was finished, I went in with a wonderful thought that God had given me.
    Why can't I take my spiritual "trash" to God's curb and leave it and forget about it just like that trash? Once I wheel that garbage out there I never give it another thought. It's gone. No worrying about where it will go. I never try to tell Waste Management how to dispose of it or try to take it to the dump myself. No, I just wheel it out there and it's gone, handled, dealt with. I have so much confidence in the sanitation workers to do their job.


 


    So often, I wait much too long to give my problems to God. I walk around stressed and confused, on edge and irritable, sometimes taking out my frustrations on the ones I love the most. I talk to a friend about them, and hope she has some words of wisdom to meet my needs. I cry and moan and complain, and finally in desperation turn to God for help. That’s like carrying around a huge bag of trash thrown over my back for days, sometimes weeks, and still trying to go about my everyday activities. The physical burden of that is too much to imagine. So too, is the spiritual burden of holding onto things and not letting God be in control. He is anyway, so I might as well acknowledge my faith in Him.
    Other times I tell myself I have given my problem to God, only to realize after many days of telling a friend I had done so, the reason I was talking to them about it in the first place is to complain about the very thing I had claimed to have peace about. If I truly give Him something then why am I still giving it so much attention? Shouldn’t I have moved on to serving, loving and ministering for His kingdom? How can I really do that while spending so much time discussing me and my troubles? I can’t. When I think about this it deeply hurts me for God. How painful it must be for Him to watch us doubt His provision and care for us as our Father. As a parent, it would hurt me greatly if I thought my children didn’t trust me to take care of them.
     I want my prayer life to be strong. I don't want to hang on to anything once I have "given" it to God. I want to know in my heart, without any doubts, that it is done. That whatever is going on is going to work out just the way it is supposed to, according to His awesome plan for my life. I want to remember to take that trash right to God and not hang onto it all day. Can you imagine walking around all day with a banana peel? You wouldn't: once you're finished with that banana, you throw the peel away and forget about it. You aren't going to carry it around all day and let it fester and smell up your life, and once you’ve throw it away, you sure aren’t going to go back and pick it back up later.
     That's the way it should be with our spiritual trash as well. Give it to God, and trust Him to clean up the mess.



Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV



Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Proverbs 3:5-7 (The Message)






This article was published in the August Edition of Gospel Tidings Magazine: Femininsights. See their website at http://www.gospeltidings.com for ordering information.

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