“What would you like me to teach you?” 4 sleepy, innocent faces stared at the table. 2 sets of eyes blinked back at me. It was 10 am on a Sunday morning, but the brains in the 4th grade class were functioning at the slowest possible speed. “It’s ok.” I said, “We’ll talk about this again. For now, I’ll just teach what I think you need to know.”
I love teaching people what I think they need to know.
I asked the class what they worry about, and they listed fire, drowning, being at war. Floods. We talked about Master Chef Jr., and Little League, and how kids prepare to be kid-champions. How they train & become strong. When it’s go-time, these kids are ready for action.
“How can prayer get us ready for hard times?” I asked. Either the class didn’t know, or they were afraid to speak their ideas. “Let me draw a picture.”
“Here is a girl, because that’s easier to draw.”
“When we have a fear or worry on our mind, it takes all of our energy. This is how it would look if our worries were visible.”
“That’s a big backpack!”
“Sure is! Do you think this girl could compete on Master Chef Jr, or be in Little League, with this big load? No? You’re right. So if we want to be champions, we have to learn how to keep our minds strong. We can’t be champions if our minds are weak and worn down. Can you finish the verse that starts, ‘Cast all your…’ ”
“Cast all your worries on Him, because He cares about you.”
“This is how that looks!”
“God wants to carry our worries for us! We still think about them, but we don’t have to carry them around with us. God carries them because it is His job to be the Protector. Sometimes He invites us to help solve the problem, but it is always something small enough to carry around while still competing.”
“Does this make sense to you? Isn’t it cool that God sometimes invites us to help Him solve the problems we are worried about?”
I was preaching at myself, really. I found myself repeating, “Jesus, you are the prioritizer. You are the protector. I choose to let those jobs in your hands.”
It’s so simple, but similar to Naaman, who despised the idea of a muddy swim as a cure for leprosy, we despise the idea of doing something in which we have no power to control the outcome. We prefer to run, stress, work and worry. Instead of, in 4th-grade lingo, “Sending our worries up to heaven.”
Cast those worries away, heaven-champion! Buckle up that belt of truth, grasp that sword of faith and wait for battle orders! You will never be in control, no matter how hard you try.
War is here, but more war is coming. Our minds have got to be free so they can be strong.
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