Don’t Bring Your Problems Along!
Do you have a specific problem that is following you into 2018? We all have things that create strife and reason for concern. Who doesn’t have problems? Some are minimal, but others are monumental. Each year brings different issues and challenges for us. Right? The year 2017 has rapidly come to a close and has been followed immediately by 2018.
It is time to think about what we want to change or do differently. Unfortunately, we also need to face whatever problems are lurking. We have a few days to pause and reflect on the good things that have happened in the last year along with the things that were not so pleasant. The latter hopefully taught us lessons or gave us wisdom to help others who might travel down that same road.
For me, 2017 was a roller coaster, but isn’t that normal for life in general? Peaks and valleys are what we encounter. Ups and downs. Problems and solutions. We received good news of marriages and babies, but there was also bad news. Sickness, cancer, divorce, and death came like a black cloud wanting to block out the light. For me and my family, our Light is the Lord, and that Light can never be snuffed out.
Knowing He has us in His loving arms makes bad days more than just bearable. He gives comfort, hope, and strength. Good days are more enjoyable with our Savior. Jesus shares our burdens and multiplies our joy.
Each New Year’s Day we have a fire in the fireplace. Watching the fire, I take inventory of the past year and think about the one to come. Many years there were things looming over me, causing panic and worry. The worst thing I could do was give in to despair. I am sure that is what the deceiver wanted. Talk about problems, let’s put Satan on that list for trying to keep us in a constant state of anxiety.
Turning the subject of my concern over to Jesus is the perfect way to begin this year. Giving my problems to Him is how I best cope with them. Every year I take a piece of paper and write down the thing that bothers me. Occasionally there is more than one. I pray about what I fear, what I need, and ask Abba to handle it for me. In fact, I ask Him to not only take care of my problems but to take care of me.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow: it’ll take care of itself.” Matthew 6:34 (paraphrased)
The little piece of paper that has the dreaded information—-and many times a secret—-is then humbly, confidently, and thankfully given to Jesus.
“My Savior has my problem…and me…”
I put the paper in the fire and ask Him to take this burden from me. Not only to take it but to keep me from picking it back up. The flames lick up and burn the paper until nothing is left. My Savior has my problem, and He has me. Tears stream down my cheeks as I thank Him. I give Him thanks for loving me, taking care of me, and giving me peace. His peace passes all understanding. Even though I know to the world it makes no sense to feel calm, to me it is perfectly reasonable. I feel His peace.
Don’t waste your time fretting like I did. Burn that problem. Let it go up in smoke. If you don’t have a fireplace, use a grill or fire pit. Don’t have those? No worries. The burning is just symbolic. The main thing is to give it to God in faith knowing He is taking care of it. Expect miracles.
If you have a specific problem (or problems) gnawing away at you or something threatens to steal your joy or weaken your faith, Write it down, burn it, but most importantly give it to Abba. You’ll feel better when you do!
Has God handled problems already for you in this New Year or coming out the old?