As I've sat at home this week nursing a sick 7-year-old (who, by the way, is still sick, and her sister has a snow day), we've been reading a lot of Peanuts comic strips. We have a big book that contains thousands of the comic strips, and my daughter loves to read them.
So, we've been climbing up in our big recliner, sharing a blanket and reading them together. Tuesday we ran across a strip about Linus and his blanket. Linus tells Charlie Brown "This blanket absorbs all my fears and frustrations. At the end of each day I shake it out the door, thus scattering those fears and frustrations to the wind!" Charlie Brown asks him, "What about tomorrow?" Linus replies, "Tomorrow I start with a clean blanket. Not unlike the proverbial clean slate."
You know, Linus has the right idea. Carrying our fears and frustrations around with us creates a heavy weight. The more fears and frustrations we carry, the heavier the load gets. But we have something better than Linus' security blanket. We have God. Peter tells us "Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
God loves us, and He knows that carrying around fears, frustrations and worries does nothing but cause us harm. Fears, frustrations and worries keep us focused on the unimportant things and not on the things of God. We need to be like Linus, shaking out our figurative blankets and letting God handle our fears and frustrations. When we choose to worry over our fears and frustrations, we're telling God that we don't trust Him to handle them. We choose to carry the burden by ourselves instead of letting God carry them for us.
Teach your kids to cast their cares on God, so they aren't weighted down by them.
- Deal with your own tendency to worry and carry your own fears and frustrations. Ask God to remind you to turn those fears and frustrations over to Him. Children copy what they see. If your children see you worry, they are likely to worry, too. If they see you take your cares and concerns to God, they will take their cares and concerns to God.
- Give your kids a physical way to get rid of their fears and frustrations. Have them write down their concerns on a piece of paper. Then, pray with them about each of their concerns. After praying, have them rip up the paper and throw it away. Talk with them about how ripping up the paper is symbolic of letting God have their fears and frustrations. They have turned them over to God, so we don't want to take them back and carry that heavy load all by ourselves again.
- Gather some rocks. Give your child a Sharpie. Let him write a fear, frustration or worry on each rock. When he is done, put the rocks in a bag and have him carry the rocks around. Talk about how our worries are like rocks. When we try to carry them by ourselves, they get heavy and affect everything in our lives. Now, have your child give you the bag of rocks. Walk around for a bit with your child. Ask your child how it feels to walk without the rocks compared to walking with them. Talk about how much better it is to give our worries to God and let Him deal with them instead of carrying them around and letting them weigh us down.
Like Linus, we can start each day with a "clean blanket." All we have to do is turn our fears and frustrations over to God.