Anxious Questions

I want to live open-handed, releasing my concerns to the capable hands of God.

Posted in , Feb 26, 2015

Shawnelle's son Grant eating his dinner.

I sit in the dining room, while winter sun stretches over the table and work on my grocery list. I think of the week ahead and scribble-scrawl the ingredients of meals that come to mind. It’s then that I remember the years-ago, little-boy questions of my second-oldest, Grant.

We’d be driving down the road, and I’d hear his sweet voice from the backseat.

“Mama,” he’d say. “What’s for dinner?”

I’d share, but I also knew the pattern. I knew what was coming next. I’d peer into the rearview mirror until his eyes, my grandfather’s shade of blue, met mine.

“What’s for dinner tomorrow?” he’d ask.

I’d tell him. And we’d drive past Iowa fields while questions stretched to the next week.

“How ‘bout next Wednesday?”

Grant was like that. He took comfort in knowing what was happening. He needed to know what was going on. It wasn’t just about meals. The questions concerned activities. Visits with friends. School work. “What are we doing a week from Tuesday?” was the kind of question I learned to field.

As I remember this today, my little blond boy with the big questions, I think about my spiritual life. My thoughts. Often, the ramblings of my mind include questions that unwind from circumstance and then coil around my heart. What will happen with this situation? What if this happens to a son? What if my worst fear comes true? What if, what if, what if…

Grant’s questions could be answered with a glance at the calendar. But mine turn to worry and worry can strangle a soul.

Yet Jesus tells us not to be anxious.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34, MSG)

Oh, the peace that could be mine if I’d fully learn to live this way! If I’d learn to focus on the here and now. I can imagine the rest I’d experience if I’d fully master the ability to experience life one precious moment at a time. What would happen if I’d push away the anxious thoughts that cast dark shadows over the light-blessings of today?

I want to live open-handed, releasing my concerns to the capable hands of God.

After all, He already knows my tomorrows. There are no surprises. Nothing comes against Him as a worry-whisper. He holds every single one of my days in His loving, holy hands.

Lord, You already know the answers to my questions. Let me focus on this day and leave the rest to You.

I sit for a moment, settled and stilled, and then I go back to my list. But pen barely touches paper when my now six-foot-two Grant bounds through the room. He’s on his way to class and from the way he’s moving, I know that he is late.

“Love you,” he says as he throws a backpack over a shoulder and heads for the kitchen door.

I don’t say a word. A moment later he’s back.

“Homemade pizza,” I say.  “And I love you, too.”

Grant smiles and leaves.

I will, with gladness, always answer my son’s questions.

And God, in compassion and grace, will help to quiet mine.

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