The Trouble Keeper
There is nothing that we can't hand over to God
There is an ancient spiritual truth that is also confirmed by modern psychiatry. If you do not have a place to put your anxiety, you will project it onto others; if you do not have a place to put your anger, you will project it onto others; if you do not have a place to put your fear, you will project it onto others. For us as Christians, the place we put our anxiety, anger and fear is on the cross of Jesus. If we can do that, we can live in peace as people of faith, people of hope, people of love. If we cannot do that, we are likely to add to the sum of suffering and destruction in the world.
Unless we deal constructively with our anxiety, anger and fear, we will project it onto other human beings and we will add to the world's anxiety and anger and fear, perpetuating the vicious circle instead of healing it. All of us deal with our anxiety, anger and fear by blaming others and creating enemies. It makes us feel better. That's how we all make war of some kind. The cross is the church's answer to this violence.
Take your anxiety and anger and fear, and instead of projecting it toward … your spouse, co-worker or child—or yourself through depression—send your anxiety and your anger and your fear to the cross of Christ.
On the cross, God shows us what divine love does with our violence and our hate. God soaks it up and does not give it back. God absorbs our anxiety, our anger and our fear and instead of reacting with wrath and punishment, God does something utterly unpredictable. God brings resurrection. Oh, death happens. Death of some kind is always the bitter fruit of anxiety and anger and fear. But death is not the last word when God is at work. God takes everything our human ugliness can dish out, God accepts it and absorbs it into Jesus on the cross. And God returns only forgiveness, which when planted for three days blooms into resurrection faith which overcomes anxiety, resurrection hope which cools anger, and resurrection love which casts out fear.
If you want to help
the world, if you want to be of service, become a person of faith, a person of
hope, a person of love. When you do that, you do the ministry of Christ. Soak up
all of the anxiety and anger and fear that is thrown at you, accept it but do
not give it back. Instead of projecting
your anxiety and your anger and your fear, put it on the cross of Christ. Nail it there with all of the other suffering of the world. Go to the cross in your imagination and in your prayer, and let the unconquerable faith of Christ be yours, trusting even in the face of death. Let the unquenchable hope of Christ be yours, courageous in the presence of the impossible. Let the infinite love of Christ be yours, benevolent and compassionate in the face of
all that threatens.
The world is still
a beautiful and wonderful place, infinitely loved by God. Don't get sucked in by
the fascination of evil. Don't spend hours in front of the television while
spring is blooming. Don't fight the dragon, lest you become the dragon. Don't be
seduced by the invitations to anxiety, anger and fear. These are temporal
things, passing away. Live in the Spirit which alone endures to the end, the
Spirit of faith, hope and love.
Copyright©2003 Lowell Grisham
Excerpted from the sermon "The Miracles Within"