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Issues in your tissues?

I have found myself just walking around, looking down a little way too much these days. "Pick up your head" might just become a new theme song in my life! Before some of you think I am drifting into some type of major depressive episode, don't fret! It has been a rough couple of weeks, losing mom, breaking my toes, and summer fully closing in upon us. I simply find myself deeper in thought, but even in my "mulling things over" in my head, I can find myself showing some signs of worry. The slumped shoulders, the down-turned head - signs of carrying a "weight" I really didn't need to carry on my own, my friends!

Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up. (Proverbs 12:25 MSG)

Did you ever stop to consider the meaning of worry? It means "to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts". Now, lest we glance over the word "oneself" in the definition, I will point it out once again! It isn't someone else tormenting us - it is us! Stop long enough and you will realize all worry is really "self-inflicted". WE take it on! It is like picking up a backpack, slinging it across our shoulders and then picking up this "worry" and that "worry", placing each in the pack, until one day, we find ourselves wondering why our back hurts so bad! It hurts because we are carrying weight we were never intended to carry! God never asked us to be "independent" in managing our thought-life. In fact, he tells us to "cast all our cares upon him, because he cares for us" (I Peter 5:7). The very action of "casting" our cares upon him is an action declaring we don't want to be independent of his intervention in our lives. When a horse loses a shoe, we say the shoe was "cast" - it was parted with! In other words, it lost its hold from where it rested or had become secure!

Sometimes we "mull over" stuff we'd do well to "cast off" right here and now. God doesn't expect us to consult him with the stuff we know to do - like tying our shoes. Wouldn't it be silly to ask him, "Now, God, do you want me to place the right lace over the left one while tying this bow?" He just wants us to put on our shoes and get to work! He gave us the ability to learn how to tie our own shoes - he doesn't need to be asked how he wants it done each day! I know this is a silly illustration, but I wonder just how much stuff we mull over that God has already given us the ability and talent to just do! I don't want us to miss the idea of "casting off" worry - parting with worry once and for all. Since worry weighs us down, it should be a delight to actually get the load off our shoulders, but I know how frequently I still bear up under it, so I don't think I am alone in this! We trudge along, mulling over our muddle, till one day, someone gives us the word we need to hear most, "Pick up your head!" We might need to be reminded of the scripture, "Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him..." (Psalm 42:5 NCV) Hmmm....worry is to be "cast" off - parted with. When I carry it, I get "downcast". Instead of worry being "thrown down", I am!

What makes the difference between being "downcast" and being able to "cast down"? I think it may actually be in someone helping us by "calling me out" our action of holding onto something we should have let go of a long time ago. In that instant, we can determine to let go - to "cast off" an "old shoe", worn by time, and ready to be discarded! We never know when the word we speak will be the "prompter" for the "casting down" of some weight too big for us to name. Don't miss the opportunity to be the voice of encouragement for a friend who might need to "cast off" a thing or two they have been carrying for way too long. You may very well be delivering them from the thing which will "break the camel's back"! We carry what we don't have to. We get all weighed down. Then we wonder why we "feel" the load deep within our tissues! I wonder if massage therapists would someday be put out of business if we'd just stop carrying what God never intended for us to carry in the first place? Just sayin!

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