My oldest daughter, Ireland, asked me last week, “Mom, on a scale of one to ten, how are you doing today?” I thought about it and told her, “Today, I am a six.” This was at least two points lower than usual for me. She wanted to know what was making the day a six, and one by one, I listed out all of the weighty issues on my mind.
As it turns out, three of the four issues were solvable once I talked them through with her. But the one that was NOT solvable (by anything I could do) needed to find itself a new home. I could no longer allow it to stay and continue to disturb my soul.
Do you ever feel like David did in the Psalm when he said, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” Perhaps you are unsettled because you cannot see how your Red Sea will part. Or you are plagued with the constant uncertainty of your next step. That despair can overwhelm and overcome everything else in life. Even the beautiful moments feel tarnished when your soul is unsettled.
Here is a very practical method I have used to relocate despair and anxiety:
Next to my desk is a small file cabinet. It is where I store important papers, special cards, and receipts I may want to locate in the future. However, there is one file in this drawer that has become a lifesaver. It is titled God’s file. Each morning I write down anything that is disturbing my peace. Most of those papers then get placed directly in that file. Some of the papers stay in there indefinitely, while others are only in there for a short time.
The surprising thing about having a God file is that anything placed in there no longer occupies the space it previously held in my anxious mind. By the physical act of writing it down and handing it over to the only one who can carry the burden, a shifting occurs. Whenever I am tempted to remove it from His file and place it back in my mind as an anxious thought, I am reminded that He will let me know when He needs me.
However, there IS something you must do before you place it in God’s file.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is there anything I am supposed to do to get on the other side of this?
Do I feel prompted to let go of something but cannot imagine life without it?
Do I need to make something right with a friend or confront someone causing this uneasiness that now occupies my heart?
Am I paying the toll (in anxiety) for a bridge I haven’t even crossed yet and may never cross?
If you can answer no to these questions, no further action is needed from you at this time, and it belongs in the God file. It will no longer occupy the space it used to. Why wouldn’t we want to give those things to someone who can carry that burden? What a waste of our time, energy, joy, and peace to hold on to something we have zero control over. As long as we have been obedient to do what is required of us, it no longer needs to be in our jurisdiction.
So, what is causing your soul to be downcast today?
1. Identify it and write it down.
2. Ask yourself if any action is required of you to resolve it.
3. If the answer is NO, place it in your God file and close the drawer.
You no longer need to carry the weight.
There is true freedom in knowing you can place all of it in His file.
Watch Him do the impossible as you shift it from your possession to His.