This past year has felt heavy to me, and even the past few weeks have felt very heavy. It isn’t that anything in particular has happened in my life, but sometimes I carry the heaviness that others are carrying.
I see things going on in this world that I have zero control over, and I feel heavy.
I see a friend lose a loved one, and I feel heavy.
I watch as people fight debilitating diseases, and I feel heavy.
I see a homeless person, and I feel heavy.
Cast Your Cares
As I was feeling this heaviness weigh on me more and more, I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:7 which talks about us casting our cares upon the Lord. While I was reading about casting your cares, I came across an article on verse-by-verse commentary.com and it said:
We humble ourselves by casting our anxieties on God. God’s care comes when we humble ourselves and depend on His grace.
“Casting” means to throw upon and thus to deposit with. Secular Greek used “casting” for a man who carried a heavy burden and threw it upon a camel’s back. “Casting” carries the idea of throw. It means to roll upon. God wants us to roll our burdens upon Him. God wants us to have a target to which we direct our anxiety. That target is God Himself.
We are to move from trusting in our own resources and strategies for life. To rest in God and His provisions. God is willing and able to carry the heaviest burden for us.
When I think about the word cast, I think about a fisherman casting out his line. I envision him casting it as far out as he possibly can. I imagine that is what God is telling us to do in 1 Peter 5:7. He calls us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us.
1 Peter 5:6-7 in the Amplified Bible says: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
But how often do we cast our cares, only to reel them back in like the fisherman does his line? It’s like my cares are attached to me in some way. It’s hard for me to completely hand them over or roll them upon the Lord.
I love how the passion translation reads in 1 Peter 5:7: Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.
It’s hard to take back something you have poured out physically, for instance, a glass of water. There’s no retrieving that water after it has been poured out.
I often find myself talking to God about the things that concern me, giving them over to Him, but then I take them back days, weeks, and let’s face it, even minutes later. It’s like I hand them over and tell Him, ok, you are in control, there is nothing that I can do with this situation, so here it is. But, then I almost instantly think, never mind, I need to hold onto this a little longer, or I can’t relinquish this control just yet, I need to let it fester.
Or even worse, I think to myself, there are people in this world who have much bigger problems than me, so God should worry about them because I’m doing ok. And then I reel them back into my possession like a fisherman or like a child who is learning to share. For a moment a child may share their favorite toy, only to snatch it back and say “mine”.
The reality is that I was never in control. The enemy will try all that he can to give us a sense of control, but it is a false sense of control. If he can distract us with this false sense of control, then he can potentially steal our joy, our peace, and our rest.
Don’t Carry What You’re Not Meant To
When I carry things that I am not meant to carry, they impact me in ways that I don’t initially realize. Sometimes I will experience unexpected tiredness or feel lethargic because what I am carrying is heavy and weighs me down. Or I can feel anxious and unsettled because I am worried about potential outcomes. I am a mind-over-matter type of person, so while I can usually push through things emotionally and mentally and feel like things are all good, physically my body can become impacted and tell a completely different story.
It is a reminder to me that our spirit, soul, and body are all connected. I can control my mind and thoughts giving the illusion that I have handed the thing I am struggling with over to God when I really haven’t. But sometimes I cannot control my body and how it reacts to situations. It knows I have not truly cast that thing onto the Lord.
While we are supposed to cast things upon the Lord, there may be some instances where the Lord may want to use you to complete His Will. Cast your concerns, but then pray about whether God wants to use you and ask for His discernment. If you are the type of person who wants to problem solve, like me, we also need to pray for patience, so we don’t pick that thing up again and try to fix it ourselves. And if God does not respond in your timing, or on your schedule, or tells you not to do anything and wait on Him, then we need to be willing to accept that.
As I was thinking about this concept and how I hold onto things, I felt like God gave me a visual of how He sees us casting. I saw myself standing on a cliff and throwing a huge boulder into a lake. There is no way I would be able to retrieve that boulder from the bottom of the lake, unlike my way of thinking in casting a fishing line. And If I were to hold on to or carry that boulder for too long, it could cause permanent damage to my body.
He Cares With Deepest Affection
When we carry things emotionally that we are not meant to carry, those things can cause damage to our souls.
I want to encourage you to cast your cares upon the Lord. If you have a tendency to hold onto things, cut that line so you can’t take it back.
Earnestly seek God and his wisdom.
Pray for His peace and joy to reign regardless of how heavy the burdens you are facing may be.
He sees YOU.
He sees every one of your concerns and like 1 Peter 5:7 says, He cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully.
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