Don't Let the Bucket Fill Up - Cast Your Care on Him

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“Can I have a play date?”

That’s the question most commonly asked when I pick my son up from school. Thanks to cold temperatures and unprecedented snow he’s been cooped up inside most of the winter. It’s understandable that he’d like a friend to come over to break up the monotony.  But today my response was…“No”.

I warned him earlier that day. There were a few things that I needed to do that afternoon. I planned to pick up his sisters, head to the grocery store, and make sure homework got done at a reasonable hour.  My little guy was not happy.

Later that evening when I sat down with my son to review his homework I noticed it was sloppy, things needed to be corrected. I asked him to read the directions to me; he refused. I suggested he re-write a few of his answers so they were legible; he resisted. He was angry and began to cry. He struggled to control himself and blamed everything wrong on me. It ended in a time-out.

What should've taken 10 minutes took 40.

Later that evening, as I tucked him my little guy I kissed and hugged him. I had a feeling there was more bothering him then just not wanting to do his homework. We talked about ways he could control himself like counting to ten, taking deep breaths, and taking a time out on his own.

As we talked, my mind wandered to some trouble we have been having in our bathroom.

For the last few weeks our shower head was leaking. Drip by drip water filled the bucket below; at first it sounds steady and loud but then soften as the bucket fills. Then it’s time to empty it. It’s so heavy, I have to use two hands to lift the bucket.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22

The word cast means to throw something in a specific direction with force. Just like the bucket of water in my shower, sometimes my cares become too weighty to throw God’s way. Drip by drip, I’ve let worry, care and frustration build over time and fill me to capacity. My heart gets heavy.  Then in my own strength I try to lift the burden. It feels impossible.

This is what was happening with my boy. He experienced little disappointments throughout the day. He collected them up, one after another, until he couldn’t take it anymore.  I explained to him that he could talk to God throughout the day, tell Him what’s bothering him. By doing this he could prevent the ugly from building up and becoming too heavy.

It seemed there was a lesson for both of us that day. ‘Handling our situation’ or ‘practicing self control’ isn’t about pretending everything is okay, putting a smile on our face, and trying to be good.

Strength and grace to handle our situation is received as we continually empty our bucket, not allowing it to fill to the top.

I am so thankful that the conversations I have with my Heavenly Father need not be confined to Sunday afternoons, meal times or bedtimes. The next time something bothers me I can simply use the prompt to worry as an opportunity to bring God’s attention to the matter. I can let him know what I was thinking, ask for guidance, and invite Him in.

What are the things you do that prevent ‘your bucket’ from getting too heavy?