I once stood with my daughter for 20 minutes by the side of a candyfloss stall. not because she wanted more of the stuff, but because she was fascinated by the way it seemed to grow out of nowhere, collecting round and round the stick until it there was a huge pink cloud of softness.
I was captivated too, because it reminded me somehow of the anxiety I had been experiencing. Something smallish: an upcoming event; something someone said; a decision I had to make or a journey I had to make; would somehow collect streamers of anxiety like these threads of cotton candy. And even though each thread was fragile, together they grew and grew into a great cloud of panic that was way beyond my ability to carry it.
As my children have grown, I’ve had less and less of this suddenly ballooning, crippling anxiety in my life, but I’ve sometimes had to watch them battle it in theirs; and this picture suddenly came back to me when my youngest was describing some of the things she was worried about to me.
Then a week or so ago I was sitting in a worship time at a conference and I had this sudden urge to paint clouds and clouds of pink candyfloss, and as I was painting I felt God ask me to think about what happens if you hold a stick of it out in the rain.
Yes. That huge cloud of smothery, billowy softness gently melts away in the presence of water, leaving only the stick behind.
So the message that goes with this postcard is simply this. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t hold that cloud of sugary anxiety under your coat. Don’t cover it up and keep it hidden. Bring it out into the rain of God’s presence, surrender it to him, and watch it melt away.
Of course, you’ll still have the stick in your hand. You’ll have to look to him for courage to deal with it- and that might be pretty hard – but it will be so much better than living with the cloud.