We carry them like stones in our pockets. Throughout the day we hold them in our hands and rub the rough edges with our thumb. We pick them up without even thinking. Carry them with us where ever we go.
Worries. Cares. Anxieties.
Some small, some more like boulders. Whatever their size, they are familiar to us. The weight of them in our pockets, the coolness of them in our hands, the memory of them in our minds. We turn them over and over. Holding on, holding tight.
We tell ourselves we can handle them. So we fill our pockets, adjust our gait, and neglect to notice the limp we walk with under the weight of all that fills our pockets, and our minds.
Recently I gathered with a group of ladies and asked them to examine the rocks they carry. The weight of the worry that fills their lives. We sat with rocks and markers and silence and waited for God to reveal truth. The truth is; He hasn’t asked us to carry this. The truth is He wants us to live without the weight of it.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him,
because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6&7
Cast means “throw”. Not “set down”, or “share with”, or “hand to”. It means throw! We are told to literally throw our stones on Jesus. Right after we are told to humble ourselves. And isn’t that the key? To finally arrive at the point where we can admit that we can no longer carry this load on our own, that we don’t have the answers we need, that we can’t fix the problems we face.
That night with stones and sharpies and silence I watched as one by one those brave women covered their stones with words as tears streamed and lips whispered. Slowly they gathered those stones and walked with them to the edge of the lake. Held them in their hands. Examined them with their eyes and their hearts. And finally, with breath held, threw them into the deep, never to be seen again.
Something happened in the moment of release for each of them. Their heads would lift, their faces would soften, and their shoulders would relax. They physically transformed before my eyes as they realized that they no longer had to carry “that”.
And neither do you. Whatever is written upon your stone, you don’t have to carry it anymore. Isn’t it time to throw that thing on Jesus? Let Him carry it? He patiently waits for you today.
Photo credit to my brave friend Chelsea, who threw her worry stones on Jesus.