Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 1/18

I was thinking this morning, Lord,   
how my heart's like an old pair of cargo pants
with lots of pockets for holding and storing
(and sometimes for hiding) all manner of feelings:
    worries and blessings,
    delights and regrets,
    grief and dreams,
    hopes and fears,
    sorrows and joys...
You know the contents of each of my pockets,
especially the ones I've snapped or buttoned,
protecting and saving the secrets they hold...
This morning I opened my pocket of worries,
a place I visit much too often!
It's so hard to close - it's always chock full
    of doubts and rumors,
    distress and misgivings,
    cares and concerns,
    apprehension and dread.. 
That pocket's so full, Lord!
It holds so many worries - I can't count them!
Worries so old I've forgotten where they came from
and worries so new I've yet to name them...
And the thing is, Lord:
nothing, absolutely nothing in that overstuffed pocket
will ever solve my problems, lighten my load,
calm my heart or bring me peace...

In fact, Lord, that cargo of worry, fast at my side,
weighs me down, slows me up and holds me back
from finding acceptance, contentment and joy
- from being relieved of all that burdens my soul...

You know, I can't trust myself, Lord, 
to empty my pocket of worries. 
I know if I try, I'll only start to recount them 
and rather than toss them away
- I'll nurse each one with misplaced pity
and worry myself right back to where I began...

So I need your help,  I pray to you, Lord:
deepen my trust and strengthen my faith in you
and in your ever-faithful gentle care for me...
Help me trust, Lord, 
that the very things I worry about
are the very burdens you reach out to ease
with your mercy, grace and healing...
Help me trust, Lord, 
that you have my back - even and especially 
when I'm worried the most...
Help me trust, Lord, 
that much of what worries me
is beyond my control and out of my hands
and that worrying never resolves 
whatever it is I'm worried about...

Help me trust, Lord, 
that it's you who've brought me safe thus far
and safe will lead me to your peace...

As I reach out you and your open arms,
empty my pockets of worry, Lord,
and fill them with faith in you,
in your presence, your help, 
your care and your peace...




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