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The Worry Stone

by Tim O'Hearn

I have in my pocket a "worry stone." Itís a flat, black stone about 1" X 2", the sort of stone that would make a good "skimming stone" if I had the inclination to throw it across still waters. Iíve had it for a number of years, probably since they were popular back in the early 70ís. The purpose of a worry stone is to work out your nervous tensions physically. If you are worried about something, you put your hand in your pocket and rub your thumb across the stone. Some people have worn a long groove in theirs, they use it so much. Mine looks pretty much the same as the day I found it. Itís not that I donít have worries. Iím just not the type to use a worry stone--just keep it in my pocket "just in case."

Some people carry God like a worry stone. Heís kept out of sight, and generally out of mind. When something comes along that is too big for their comfort, they reach in the pocket and rub God, like a genieís lamp, and say, "take care of this worry for me." Then they let him sink back to the bottom of the pocket until the next time they "need" Him. With some people, God has a groove that fits their thumb like a glove, they use him so often to take care of "the big stuff." For others, he just sits in the pocket, waiting to be remembered.

God doesnít want to be a worry stone. Thatís not to say he doesnít want to take care of your worries. He actually begs for them. "Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you." (1 Pet 5:7) He wants your cares. Not just the "big ones," but all your cares. Not just when you remember to use your worry stone, but all the time. You see, a worry stone doesnít really do anything, or feel anything. It canít really take away your worry. And it certainly doesnít care if you have any cares, or not. God, on the other hand, can take away the worry and make it all better. More importantly, as Peter said, "he cares for you." He is not an unfeeling stone to be left in your pocket, but a friend to go to when times are good or bad.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so I shall be saved from my enemies. (Psa 18:2-3)