Several weeks ago, I was feeling very overwhelmed. It just all seemed too much.
My husband and I teach an adult Sunday School class (aka “a small group”), and during the prayer request share time I don’t usually share about me, but this time I did. I asked for prayer, because my platter (not my plate) felt so full. PLEASE do not see this as complaining, but rather more of an explanation (it came across okay in person, but I want to make sure it comes across in written form)—I mentioned about all the people I was carrying on my platter: the 92 preschoolers and their families that are a part of the preschool where I’m the director, the 13 ladies I have on preschool staff, my 25 kindergarten-2nd graders I teach on Wednesday nights, and the 25 members of our adult Sunday School class. I want to be able to pour into all these precious people that God has brought into my life, but at this particular point, I was feeling so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even get complete sentences from my mind to my mouth correctly. I had fumbled through the previous Sunday School lesson–I just couldn’t get my thoughts and words to line up correctly. There was just too much going on in my head to be able to even think right.
A few moments later during the class, Sunshine, a gal in our class, had a vision that was just burning in her heart and needed to be shared. Her vision was related to the prayer request I had shared, and in her vision she saw a beautiful, long banquet table, set with several place settings of china. Fragile, eloquent china, complete with those itty-bitty china tea cups that hardly hold a spot of tea. It was in those dainty dishes that I was trying to put everything, which obviously, wasn’t working, since they hardly held anything. Then she described a smaller table that was next to this grandiose one. This table just had one place setting. A simple place setting, all made of wood. A carpenter’s place setting. Jesus’ place setting. This place setting had no bottom. It could hold EVERYTHING. Everything that “my platter” couldn’t. All I needed was to place everything that was on my platter onto this wooden place setting, giving it all to Jesus.
The Wednesday prior to this particular Sunday, Al, a gentleman in our class, had brought a wooden bowl that he had made that week to church. Al is an incredible wood-worker, and his creations are literally breath-taking. I had held the bowl that he made, admiring it, and remarked about how smooth it was, how detailed it was. His wooden creations usually have a story to go with them, and Al can tell you exactly what kind of tree it was made from, and even where he encountered the tree.
I am a visual learner, and it’s how I get things to stick in my mind, so after Sunshine shared her vision, I had told the class about Al’s bowl and how I was going to picture that bowl whenever my platter feels full, and I would figuratively, put everything I’m carrying in the Carpenter’s bowl, leaving it with Jesus.
Today, Al, and his lovely wife Judi, presented me with a bowl Al had made for me. It was made from a cherry tree, and is such a priceless gift, a precious keepsake that comes with such a beautiful reminder of how our Savior wants us to cast our cares on Him , because He cares for us.
There’s room in the Carpenter’s wooden bowl for your cares too. All we have to do is trust God with our lives, our cares, our burdens, then seek Him in all our ways, acknowledge Him in all we do, and He will direct our path.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”