Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Have you ever had a long day doing laundry at the laundromat and you try to get all the clothes back in a bag to take them home? Maybe you just spent a week at the beach and now you can’t get all the clothes back into the suitcase? How about looking for something to wear in a drawer or closet and after trying on several things you can’t get it closed again?
Many of us may have encountered times where our lives might feel like a pile of clothes too large to fit where we want it to. Things like a busy schedule, the to do list hanging on the fridge, or a change in a financial obligation might be some of those items that come to mind. With so many possibilities we can face there is also no way we can name them all.
I know that I have had times in my life when my pile of laundry felt more like a mountain and any small movement will have it tumbling on top of me. These are also the times that quickly elevated my anxiety level beyond where I would like it to be and once I passed a certain point my emotions added to the impending avalanche.
I used to struggle mightily until I lived out the repacking for a return from vacation above. When you spend time jumping on a suitcase to close it that has nothing in it other than the clothing that zipped up easily for the trip down. Staring at the overflowing contents, I soon realized that the only difference was the dirty laundry was stuffed into a plastic bag.
I don’t know if I was more surprised by the realization or that I actually might have figured out the issue. After I emptied the suitcase, I soon began folding the dirty laundry and putting it back into the plastic bag that I placed in the suitcase. It may sound like an exercise in tedium, but once I was finished the suitcase zipped up with room to spare.
During the process I kept thinking that it felt sort of like life. Some days you have a pile of dirty laundry that can’t be contained by any boundaries that you place on it. Every element of the chaos is just another item rolled up and falling off the pile. The longer we take to tackle it, the larger it could grow.
Take a moment and visualize the largest mountain the you faced and what it contained. Subject headings that could relate to health, finance, or relations mixed with not only anxiety, but could include depression and just giving up. Now visualize each one as a separate item thrown on that pile.
Rather than throwing up our hands in frustration, we need to pause and take a deep breath. After we get our emotions and ourselves under control, then we can look at everything more slowly as we remain calm and focused. Pick up your first item and examine it to see what you need to do with it.
General terms like sort it, clean it, or fold it with you making a list of what needs to be done to solve that problem and putting it into action. You are done with that article when it is neatly folded and placed on a shelf, in a drawer, or hung in a closet. Once you get to this point then you are ready to pluck another item off the pile (next trial in life).
When we are tackling any size pile we need to include God as we close our eyes to calm ourselves. Ask the Lord for peace and to show us what to do as we hold each piece up to examine it more closely. For patience as you take the time to get each item under control and pack it away before you move to the next item.
Remember Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” This is your time to take control of every element of your life. Pray over it, ask God for help with it, and then dedicate it to the Lord. When we do this, we are taking everything to a higher level. A level above any worldly expectations.
This also allows the Lord to walk beside us to keep us going, to keep us on track, and to pick us up if we stumble. We just can’t get lazy in hope that He will take over and do it for us. We can ask for the strength and guidance we need but must always do our part to help clean up any mess in our lives.
Many times this can be easier said than done. It may be difficult taking responsibility not only for our actions, but also seeing through the solution. There may be challenges with every step that could prevent any forward progress.
This is when you add in further prayer for the persistence to stay on the right path, His path. As we do, we will keep returning to the Lord’s serene protection. There is no other place that we should strive to be if we want to see those piles dwindle down to nothing.
I would like to reiterate Paul’s prayer for you all from 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” That no matter what amount of turmoil you face or how high the pile is, you will experience the only true peace found in God.
So, join me in the Lord’s laundromat where we take control of the chaos in our lives. We may not get one hour service, but He will be there as we address each item we sort, clean, fold, and maybe even press. Soon our floors will be empty with everything neatly under control. Now take the time to enjoy the rest of this month’s offering.
The chaos in life keeps growing getting too large to contain,
It is no longer hidden and it doesn’t help to complain.
The more I try to stuff inside has me bursting at the seams,
I am losing so much control that it is overtaking my dreams.
Even tackling the clutter one piece at a time,
Does not seem to help with such a huge mountain to climb.
Lord, it is getting hard to move as the weight of life presses,
Can you please show me best way to handle all these messes?
My child, when you try to juggle too much you may end up falling,
If you lift your head and turn an ear you will hear me calling.
Focus on my voice and seize the heap with persistence,
Then faithfully ask me for guidance and specific assistance.
As you examine each piece to put it in its place,
Remember what I taught you to form a strong base.
My spirit is always there to help you through the chaos you face,
Now, push forward with new energy fueled by My Love And Grace.
Simple Faith Christian