The Spiritual Practice of Exchanging Worry for Life

 “It was I who taught them to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who strengthened them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11:3-4

baby walking with Mom

In the words above, the prophet Hosea was speaking for God to a group of people who had not been faithful to God. The biggest failure of these people is that they failed to embrace the fact that God loved them.

Embracing the fact that God loves us – that God is for us – is so important!  It will enable us to stop worrying about our own needs (because we know that God is caring for us) and start participating in God’s mission to care for others.  We no longer have to scratch our way to the top.  We no longer have to practice self-preservation.  Instead we are set free to love and serve others!

Try this spiritual practice:

  1. On a slip of paper, write out in one sentence a worry that you have today.
  2. Read the slip of paper to God.  Tell God all about it.  Then give God that worry. 
  3. When you are done talking to God about it, turn the slip of paper over with the firm knowledge that that is no longer your worry.  God is taking care of it. 
  4. Now ask God how you can participate in the mission of God today.  What one thing has God prepared for you to do today that cares for someone else?
  5. Now on the other side of the slip of paper write that one thing down.  
  6. Go do it!

Revisit the slip of paper throughout the day.  But don’t look again at the side with the worry.  God has your back.  Instead use it as a reminder to do the work God has called you to do.

Unfortunately, the people Hosea was speaking to on God’s behalf, never learned to accept God’s love — to let God care for them.  They continued to turn into an unjust society worshiping things (making things a priority) that ought not to be worshiped (a priority).   But there is no reason that has to be our story!

***

April describes herself as a Red Letter Christian who writes about scripture and spiritual disciplines. See her latest book, James in the Suburbs: The Disorderly Parable of the Epistle of James. Great for an individual read or group Bible studies! You can follow her blog by clicking on the three dots in upper right hand of this page and scrolling down.

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