We are to bring the matter as literally to Him as we would carry a broken watch to the watchmaker’s, leaving it for him to repair and readjust. A little child playing with a handful of cords, when they begin to get into a tangle, goes at once to her mother, that her patient fingers may unravel the snarl. How much better this than to pull and tug at the cords until the tangle becomes inextricable! May not many of us learn a lesson from the little child? Would it not be better for us, whenever we find the slightest entanglement in any of our affairs, or the arising of any perplexity, to take it at once to God, that His skillful hands may set it right? Then, having taken it to Him, and put it into His hands, we are to leave it with Him; having gotten it off our own shoulder upon His, we are to allow it to remain there.
But it is just at this point that most of us fail. We tell God about our worries, and then go on worrying still as if we had never gone to Him at all, or as if He had refused to help us. We pray about our cares, but do not cast them off. We make supplication, but do not unload our burdens. Praying does us no good. It makes us no more contented, or submissive, or patient, or peaceful. We do not get the worries out of our own hands at all. This is the vital point in the whole matter.
Or perhaps we do cast the burden upon God while we are praying, and feel for the moment a strange sense of joy in our soul. We rise and go a few steps as light-hearted as an angel. We have given God our cares to keep. But in a little while we have gathered up all the old burdens and anxieties again, and have them once more on our own shoulder, and we go bowing under them, fretting and worrying as before.
But is that the best the religion of Christ can do for us? Is that the full meaning of the privilege expressed in so many golden promises in the Scriptures? Is a little moment’s rest from anxiety in the midst of long days of care all that it is possible for us to obtain?
...We are permitted to roll our care entirely over on God and to let it stay there. We are to put the broken plan, the shattered hope, the tangled work, the complicated affair, into the hands of the God of providence, leaving the ordering and outcome of it to His wisdom. The provocation, the friction, the burden that presses sorely, the annoyance, the hindrance,—instead of permitting ourselves to be vexed, exasperated or disturbed by them, we are quietly to turn the matter over to God, and then go on calmly to the next duty that comes to our hand. And, having done this, we are to cease to worry. We have given the perplexity to God. We have asked Him to think for us, plan for us, and take the ordering of the affair into His own hands. It is our matter, therefore, no longer, but His.
Should we not be willing to trust Him? We put our worldly affairs and interests into the hands of men, and feel that they are safe. We commit our sicknesses to the skill of our physician. Business complications we confide to the wisdom of our lawyer. A broken machine we turn over to a mechanic. Is not God wise enough to manage the complications of our lives, and to bring order and beauty out of them? Has He not skill enough? Is He not our Father? and will He not always do the very best and wisest thing for us? Should we not trust Him, and cease to be anxious about anything that we have committed to Him? Is not anxiety doubt and unbelief? and is not doubt and unbelief sin?..."
We give our worries to God, but go on worrying still, and this is the cause of our cares.
I don't know about you, but I know I have been guilty of this many times. I know God can and will answer all prayers in the best way, but so often after prayer I am left worrying that the answer will be different than what I would like, or will not happen quickly. But when I pray and leave those burdens at His feet, and do not pick them up again in fear, I am able to trust Him. "Is not doubt and unbelief sin?" When we doubt our Savior's plan or timing or answer, we are saying we know better what should happen. We, the fallible creatures with limited sight, doubt the plans of the infallible sovereign God who not only sees but has ordained the entire view of our life since before the world was made. Yet He continues to invite us to "Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
And when our hearts are trusting and aligned in Him, the cares of this world are no longer ours to bear, but simple another way for Christ to show His power in our weakness, and we find rest.
Rejoicing in Hope,
Is there something I may prayer with you about, dear friends? Let us give all our troubles to Him and encourage each other in fellowship through Him!