Of Purses and Peace

messypurse 1

Question: Other than a store, what one place can you find a bottle of water, hair brush, Band-Aids, breath mints, chewing gum, measuring tape, an assortment of writing utensils, various forms of currency (bills, coins, cards), phone, iPad, prescription drugs, pain relievers, hair spray, tooth picks (clean and used), tissues (clean and used), toys, makeup, candy, safety pins, flash drives, snacks, cell phone charger, lotion, hand sanitizer, nail clippers, hair bands, receipts, antacids, mirror, ticket stubs and any other random item you’d like to add?

Answer: a woman’s purse.

In fact, the average woman’s purse weighs over 6 pounds. That’s why, after repeated trips to my chiropractor for neck and shoulder pain, Dr. Joe told me to get rid of my big purse. My temptation was to carry the big purse without putting many things in it. But that didn’t happen. There’s a universal, unwritten law that says a woman’s purse, regardless of size, will attract all manner of random objects until it literally overflows. (This law, I might add, applies to 90-year-old women who have bags attached to their walkers. I’m not naming names, but if something can’t be found at my parents’ house, we’ve learned to look in the bag hanging on my mother’s walker.)

It’s a fact. The more weight we carry physically, the more damage we do to our bodies.

And the more weight we carry emotionally, the more damage we do to every part of our being.

The weight we carry emotionally can be summed up in one word: worry. The dictionary defines worry as “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.” We literally allow disturbing thoughts about real or potential problems to fill our minds.

This, my friend, is sin. And, I confess, it’s the sin that tempts me probably more than any other sin. But it’s also the sin that has a clear, biblical antidote:

  • Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6).
  • Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).
  • Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

Even though I no longer carry a big purse, every evening when I get home from work, I turn my clutch upside down over my bed and watch as the day’s accumulated stuff falls out. I’m always amazed at the random items that have found their way into my purse, not to mention the amount of loose change that has collected.

Just as I empty out my purse every evening (and my husband empties out his pockets), I must continually empty my mind of worries by giving everything to God in prayer. When something is a big issue, I call in backup by sharing the concern with a few trusted friends who will pray with me and for me. Then—and this is another area that I have to work on because I often forget—I thank God for what He has already done and for what He is doing.

Giving our cares to God and thanking Him for what He is doing has an amazing result: we receive God’s peace. Philippians 4:7 tells us that “Then [after we’ve turned our worries over to God] you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Amy Grant’s “I Will Carry You” seems the most fitting way to end today’s blog. I hope you enjoy.

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