‘You gave me something so… simple but so profound’
It was a whim, really. Or maybe a God idea. This week had been excruciatingly busy. Lists of tasks on my mind but no time to write them on paper. Unless you count my journal, where I was supposed to be reflecting and talking to God. Not stressing about a growing list of responsibilities.
That kind of week. Where things weighing on my mind were not just tasks, exactly, but conversations and emails and what-ifs. And so I entered work this morning thinking I would take FlyLady’s advice and set a timer for 15 minutes and let the “to-dos” flow from my brain onto paper.
Then I thought of, well, that email. The one I had discussed with a trusted colleague before I dared send. The email that then never got a response. The issue like a gaping wound needing closure.
I realized that if I wrote a to-do list, then I would need to write a to-God list. Or, better, a to-do list for God. Or, maybe, I could get a box, declare it a “care package to God,” and then write my cares on slips of paper and insert them. One by one. Cares packaged. In a box addressed to Him.
But first things first. I needed to get the key to the coffee condiments cabinet so I could finish my morning good deed: preparing the coffee bar for the building.
That was when I saw Leah.
“Good morning! How are you?” I asked as she drew near. We were early for work and the only ones in the building so far.
“O… K, I guess,” she responded.
“Well, that didn’t sound overly convincing.”
A ‘care package’ for two
She went toward her office. I went toward the sugar ants threatening the hazelnut creamer and a slightly open canister of sugar in the cabinet.
“Cast all your cares on Him / for He careth for you…”
Song lyrics based on Scripture croaked quietly from my mouth as I set up coffee and condiments wiped clean of ants.
Then when I looked for a box for a legitimate “care package,” I found none. Plus I realized I needed two. I found two gift bags instead and then made my way to Leah’s office. She and I share faith in Jesus, a sweet luxury in a secular workplace.
I tapped on the door and opened it when she said I might. I could tell she had been crying. Was crying.
“I brought you a ‘care package’ — for God,” I told her. “It’s for you. Write down all your cares — and give them to Him.” I handed her the simple bag. “I’m sorry I don’t have any tissue paper to make this pretty.”
“That’s OK. I’ve got real tissues — and I can give God my tears, too.” She pulled some out of a box as she spoke and wiped her eyes. She managed a smile.
I gave her a hug, told her I loved her and offered to help if I could, and then I went to my office to start filling my own care package for God.
A short while later, I received a text.
“Thank you so much for coming to my rescue this morning,” Leah had written. “I was having a rough start and began questioning everything. I put on a brave face but sometimes the mask falls.
“God knew I needed you this morning. I wrote down my prayers and gave them to God.”
She included two images.
“I gave it all to God.
“Tear-stained Post-its and all…”
Why a ‘care package’ helped
When I saw her later, she told me I needed to blog about this because someone else needs to do this today. I was willing but hesitant — should I name her? Share verbatim what she had said?
So I jotted the above during my lunch break and sent it to her with the subject line “Is this OK? Did I get it right?” She said it was perfect — and, it seemed, the suggestion I’d made earlier was God-ordained. Not a whim. In response to my blog post draft, she sent me an extensive email, which included this:
“You gave me something so… simple yet profound!” Leah wrote.
“When you gave me that ‘care package for God,’ it was like He was speaking through you saying ‘Give it to me, Leah. I want you to give it to me and trust that I will take care of it for you.’
“Those were the words I heard while writing down each prayer. I wondered why God would want to carry my load and how giving it all to Him could make Him happy.
“Maybe it is admitting that you can’t do it all alone… that you have to admit and physically feel like you are just assigning these overwhelming ‘tasks’ to God,” Leah wrote. “More importantly, not checking to see if He is taking care of it, rather just trusting in His ability to do so.”
I wish you could have seen her the rest of the day — all smiles! The burdens she didn’t need to carry alone? Shouldered by our heavenly Father who wants us to cast our cares on Him. We can trust Him to take care of them. We don’t even have to follow up to make sure He is on task! No managing needed. Just trust.
Later as I reflected on the day with Leah, the lyrics, “You are my peace / You have broken down every wall” came to mind. I started singing them and realized they were part of the “Cast all your cares on Him” lines I’d sung earlier. It was the second part of the power in creating a care package of our cares for God. And it was the reason Leah could smile.
He is our peace. In the midst of every care that threatens to beset us, He offers peace. We just need to place our care package in His hands.
Was Leah right? Is this something you needed to know today?
P.S. “Cast all your cares on Him” comes directly from 1 Peter 5. The rest of the chapter is powerful, too.
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