A Dear God letter

Nancy and I took a drive Sunday afternoon. In the middle of traffic on I-75, I was telling her about my current lack of emotional margin. A number of projects and issues are running in the background of my heart these days. Personal, family, work, connections. I can tell when this is happening by a simple test: how frustrating are little inconveniences?

After a bit, we focused on getting through unfamiliar streets. I thought through the projects, weighing them one by one to see what should be eliminated. None of them. And I suddenly realized that this isn’t a workload issue. This is a worryload issue. It’s not the tasks that fill my heart, it’s the implications. Or better, it’s my concern about the implications.

I smiled.

Not four hours before, we had been listening to a sermon pointing to a text about worry.

Paul is writing to a group of people he loves deeply. “Don’t worry about anything,” he tells them. But he doesn’t stop there. Which is good. Because every time someone tells me to stop worrying, I argue. Every time someone says, “It will be okay,” I argue.

Paul says, “Don’t worry about anything. Or everything. Instead, make your requests known to God.”

Later, on my own, while not driving, I took a sheet of paper. “Dear God,” I wrote. “Here’s the list of what is eating away at my heart. Promise not to show anyone?” And I wrote.

On paper in front of me, the fears were a little more real, a little more clear, a little less abstract. There was a little more peace. It could be a mind game. But Paul’s words suggest something else is happening.

“And the peace of God, which makes no sense, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”


About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

5 thoughts on “A Dear God letter

  1. I like that the Holy Spirit made you aware, at some point, when you have underlying issues that are causing surface manifestations.
    He is a loving councillor!


  2. I love the picture “running in the background” mine were humming at 4:00 am this morning. Really glad I read this, just wish I would have seen it at 4. 😉 Thanks Jon


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