Do you remember the game, “Hot Potato”, that we used to play at birthday parties? Your mom would get an object, say for instance, a bean bag, and she would turn on the radio. All the kids would stand in a circle and pass the bean bag to the next kid as quickly as they could. When mom turned the music off, the person holding the “hot potato” had to sit out. Play would continue, with each adrenalin-surging, nerve-jangling kid worried about holding the potato more than a microsecond, in fear of holding the potato when the music stopped, and having to leave the game.
Well, that’s the game that I’ve been playing with God recently. In my upbringing, and in my more recent teaching, I know that I am to not be anxious about anything, but with prayer and thanksgiving, give that hot potato to God. And so I do! And wouldn’t you know it, the second the bean bag leaves my hand, some other kid hands me another one! So, I pass that one on to God, and He takes it. The cool thing about God is that He never passes the hot potato on to the next kid. He holds them all, and tells me He will take all of them. He takes the thing, smiles at me, tells me He loves me with His eyes, and holds on to it. As we’re playing, He also murmurs to me things like, “You’re really cool. I’ll never, ever leave you or quit this game. I’m with you forever.” So when I can hear His voice, my spirit is calm.
The problem is that those kids keep handing me hot potatoes! Here ya go: your car is making a funny noise, Hot Potato! you have a cardiology appointment coming up, Hot Potato! the weeds in your rose garden are almost as tall as the roses, Hot Potato! your ex-best friend’s daughter had surgery, but you hear about it through the grapevine because she isn’t calling you anymore, you have to divide stocks, Hot Potato! and properties, and fill out quit-claim deeds.
It’s a good exercise, and I love playing this game with God because he never cheats, and He never lets me down, and He never disappoints me. He always keeps His promises. The whole time, He whispers sweet, sweet things to me like: “I love you!” and “You play this game great!” and “You’re beautiful!” and “I love playing games with you!” and “I’ll never, ever, ever, ever leave you.” He’s got my whole big pile of hot potatoes in His big hands. I just hope that I can keep passing those hot potatoes on, and quit obsessing about more hot potatoes coming my way.