Recently, I was teaching a class of kindergarten through fifth graders on the Fruit of the Spirit, Peace. As a visual cue, I used Rembrandt’s painting of Jesus sleeping during a storm on the Sea of Galilee while his disciples were frantic. I related the story of the peace that Jesus had even during the ferocious storm. The children found it difficult to relate to the peace that Jesus had during the storm and explained that they most understood and related to the feelings of the disciples.
As we discussed how to gain the peace like Jesus had, regardless of our circumstances and how worry steals our peace, I asked what worries them and what steals their peace. Their responses were candid and heart breaking
- decisions on who to live with after a divorce when their parents lived in different states
- parents who are fighting
- fear of parents dying because they drink beer
At that moment, it occurred to me that what they needed was a Worry Box. I quickly found a “box,” paper and pens and had them write out the things that worry them – what steals their peace. As they placed their worries into the box we continued to discuss peace. After everyone was done putting their papers into the Worry Box, we prayed over them releasing the worries to God. We prayed that God would give the children the wisdom to do what they can do and the peace that only God can give.
Later in the day, I brought those worries home with me so I could go through them and add them to my prayer book. What I found was even more heart breaking. Behind those young smiling faces and “carefree” persona’s there are giant sized worries that only God can help them with. Their hearts were filled with turmoil. Now, in addition to prayer requests, I will also have a Worry Box. Over time I will ask them individually about their worries in the box and if God has given them any peace over them.
What is in your Worry Box? God’s peace or the world’s turmoil?