The Worry Jar
On one of my recent personal retreats, I was strongly tempted to give in to anxiety. Much had transpired leading up to that time, and abundant cares and concerns seemed to swim in my head like a school of fish confined in a man-made tank. Trapped within my mind these thoughts begged for appropriate release.
It was then I remembered something my biofeedback therapist taught me – the concept of creating what she called a “Worry Jar.”
What’s a worry jar? you wonder. It’s a place in which you can write all your “worries” and add them to the jar one by one. A way of letting them go.
It gets them out of one’s head, providing a symbolic way to release them.
On this particular weekend retreat, I decided it was time to both use the concept, and rename the jar (as you will soon see).
Anxious for Nothing
While I could just pile a load of worries into a jar and try to banish them my own, making such a choice would only be part of the path toward greater peace (or shalom).
As Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) says:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Woah. Did you catch that? How much are we to be anxious for? “Nothing.”
I felt on the verge of a panic attack that weekend, and what was God’s message to me? “Be anxious for nothing.”
More Than Letting Go
So, experiencing the peace of God – His shalom – comes not only in resisting anxiety (being anxious for nothing), but also in letting our requests be made known to God by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.
Moving into a place of peace with Him thus involves not only severing ties with anxiety but prayerfully submitting our requests to Him, sharing our concerns with God.
In that vein, I decided to replace the “Worry Jar” with the “Care Casting Container.”
For it’s not just about getting my worries out, but casting them on the Lord - for it is with Jehovah-Shalom that my cares have their rightful resting place.
I think of I Peter 5:7 which speaks of “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
He cares for me! He cares for you!
Sigh… (What a relief!)
So, how will you respond when cares come your way (as they surely will in this earthly life)?
How ’bout casting your cares on the Lord, submitting your requests to Him with thanksgiving? And if it helps you too (as it sometimes helps me to have a visual, tactical symbol of the internal choice I’m making), grab a jar, drop your cares inside, and give the whole kit’n'kaboodle to Jesus…for He cares for you!
Can’t wait to hear about the renewed peace you experience when you cast your cares on Jesus (with a jar or otherwise)!