Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cast your cares on Him

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

In the past I've shared how I overcame panic attacks almost 16 years ago through the truth of these words of Peter. This was truly an amazing time in my life.

But of course these words of Peter don't just apply to those dealing with panic/anxiety attacks. They are great words of encouragement to anyone dealing with any sort of worry, care, anxiety, depression, burden, weakness... you name it. In my testimony that can be found by clicking the above link, I shared how I mentally pictured myself laying my anxiety at the feet of Jesus, handing it over to Him. At the time that is truly what changed everything for me. It really did "jump-start" a life of trust in Him that I had never lived with before.

Since that time, I've definitely dealt with various other cares and worries, and I've found that casting our cares on the Lord is not always quite as simple as picturing it in this way. I still do this at times, and I've even been led by the Lord to lead others in small group settings in an "exercise" in which we close our eyes and picture ourselves handing our burdens and cares over to the Lord. What a release of burdens, guilt, worries, etc, that I've seen come out of these times!

But yet I am interested to hear from others, the ways in which you've been able to cast your cares upon Him. I often tell people that I pretty much live a stress-free life these days. It's not because I don't have problems or because all my circumstances in life are exactly the way I want them to be. Rather, I attribute much of this simply to the fact that there is an ongoing conversation between me and my Father. There's nothing that He doesn't know about me and there's nothing I can say that will ever surprise Him, so I'm just honest with Him! In this way, my burdens and cares seem to be 'released' to Him through simple conversation. Through that "jump-start" 16 years ago, a life of trust began, and I guess it's simply evolved into what it is today through a growing process.

I've come to understand that my life is always in Him, 100% of the time! There are never two sets of footprints in the sand and there never will be. He is carrying me all the time.

Another cool thing is that from time to time the Lord plans a much larger giving over of my burdens to Him when I'm not even expecting it! He knows me better than I know myself, that's for certain! I'll read something or I'll hear something and it will seem just as if a cork pops open or a pressure valve is released that I didn't even know was stopping the flow of the abundant life! He's so very faithful.

What experiences have you had, what words of wisdom do you have, what Bible verses would you like to share... that speak to the giving over of our cares, burdens, worries, etc, to the Lord?


  1. The biggest factor in my life in dealing with worry and anxiety is coming to the realization that God is completely in control. Nothing touches me that a loving God hasn't allowed and I know that He has a reason for allowing it. Sure I still get worried and anxious, but they are only momentary feelings that pass as soon as I get my eyes fixed back on Him and the truth that, as you say, I can cast my burdens upon Him.

    I have a friend that has taught me a lot about God's grace and living the life of a branch. He tells of the struggles he has with his wife when "bad things" happen to the family. She becomes a nervous wreck of anxiety and worry. He remains calm and at peace. She gets mad at him because she acts like he doesn't care. What she is really saying is that if he really cared he would be a nervous wreck just like she is. She even calls him a Pollyanna. He really does care, but he is at peace knowing that God is in control.

    On a related note, I often hear Christians say that "God will not allow you to be burdened more that you can bear." That isn't what the Bible says, however. That particular verse speaks of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). How much anxiety, depression, guilt have been bourn by people who feel like it is up to them to carry their burden. But God will burden us more than we can ever bear as Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:8-10. Why? So we will finally get the message that He wants us to lay those burdens upon Him so that He can carry them for us.

    In Christ,

  2. Gary,

    That's a great way to live life... knowing that God is in control and that nothing happens that He doesn't know about or isn't in full control of.

    I can relate to the story you shared about your friend. I've had to learn to at least show my wife (and kids) that I do understand that our circumstances in life aren't perfect - because my lack of expressing concern often makes it seem as if I simply don't care! I can appear to be insensitive, when I'm really simply in a state of trust. I'm still learning how to be truly sensitive to them while making sure they know I'm not giving in to fear and anxiety... and hopefully setting a true example of trust in the Lord.

    You're right on about 1 Cor 10:13. That's one of the most misquoted passages in the Bible, and therefore one of the most misunderstood and misapplied passages. Hardly a month goes by without hearing someone misquote and misapply it. And it's a very big deal to me because I think it truly affects how people view God, as well as their circumstances! If their burdens are just too much to handle, they believe that they've got to buck up and carry the burden, because God hasn't let them be burdened beyond what they can bear. In doing so, they neglect to truly give it over to Him, and eventually the burdens build and build and build, moving them deeper into sadness, depression, hopelessness, etc. The way this verse is misquoted is often intended as encouragement, but I think it can eventually lead in exactly the opposite direction.

  3. To be honest I don't think I am in a point where I can say I don't panic. I panic at least once a day:)
    Its funny that while reading your post I was trying to get hold of my wife and daughter who are currently away from home. She wasn't picking the phone for at least an hour and unless you want me to lie I have to agree that I was panicked like a rabbit kitten :)
    I don't know when I will grow to that point where I can be in peace in situations like that.
    (BTW I finally got hold of her. The fact is that she forgot her phone in the car!)
    But one thing I can tell, ever since I started seeing the truth of God's grace and His unconditional love it started making a phenomenal difference in my outlook.
    Though I have financial problems, I am still in peace. Though I have relationship problems I ma still in peace. Though I have career problems I am still in peace. And it amazes me! I was not at all a person like that. As I grow more in the fertile soil of God's grace I am seeing more things from God's perspective and sometimes all I can say is 'Wow'!
    So to me, the key to deal with worry and anxiety is seeing things from God's perspective.

  4. Bino,

    I can relate to the worry about not being able to get a hold of your wife. My wife's parents live about an hour away from here. Sometimes she and the kids will drive there, and if they don't arrive home near the time she plans to be home, I'll begin to worry that something bad has happened. I'll begin praying for them to be safe and to arrive home ok, etc. :)

    I really like the last part of your comment. Knowing God's unconditional love and grace more and more, as well as how He is in full control, as Gary said, really does change a person's overall perspective in how we view all the things of life. I share in the very same problems that you mentioned, and I also share in how growing in grace has changed how I deal with all these things, viewing them not from an earthly perspective, but more and more from the perspective of my Father.

  5. Hi Joel

    This is a great piece to discuss.

    Recently my wife was retrenched from her job. I saw the Fathers hand in this. She used to work for friends of ours, which we also go to church with. As you can expect this had the possibility of becoming very volitile. The Father dealt with all of our hearts quickly and I can honestly say that all is well between our friendships. All this in 1 month.

    Another reason we were fine with the decision, is that Shan (my wife) had just completed a payroll course and was going to start a business from home in a couple of months. The retrenchment, in my eyes, just speeded the process up.

    At the same time I stared a second business. This required much of my time to get all the documentation and advertising together. The pressure was on.

    We had no medical insurance as my businesses are just getting momentum. I was hunting around to getting the best option to suite our budget.

    The idea was to have a baby in the next year or so. By that time Shan's business would be operating comfortably, we would be on medical insurance and my businesses would be successful.

    Last Saturday I was told that I am going to be a daddy. Business okay, but no fireworks yet. Less the income Shan was bringing in and no medical insurance.

    It has been a week of hugely mixed emotions. Pure joy, excitement and thankfulness at the gracious gift from our Father. But there is also the fear on not getting ends to meet.

    I know God is in control. I know the He will look after us and His new child being formed. I know He has huge plans for our family.
    I can already see His mighty hand moving in our situation.

    I just pray that I can have the courage to leave the present and the future difficulties TOTALLY at His feet. I pray that I do as little as possible in the flesh and my own pride.

    Great post. Very encouraging. I love the part of having only 1 set of foot prints.

    Bless you

  6. First, off, congrats again on the news that you're going to be a daddy!

    It really does sound like there are a lot of changes going on all at once in your life. Changes that are very exciting, yet providing for a lot of uncertainty, even in the near future not to mention the overall future.

    Finances and medical insurance... those are big ones for me. Although I believe that God has me in my job for His own purposes, which He has revealed to me at times, I honestly have to say that from a fleshly point of view, I remain there because of the health insurance. But I can see future possibilities of God moving me in directions that would perhaps involve me leaving this "secure" job. So really, no matter what, I really need to have the entire "burden" of my job/career/ministry FULLY on Christ. Wherever He leads, I need to always trust in Him and not in my circumstances. He's completely faithful and He will never steer any of us in the wrong direction, and even if we get "off course," He is faithful to steer us back on track.

    It's on my heart right now to ask anyone who is reading this to lift each other up in prayer, praying that we would all become more and more assured of God's love and faithfulness and less and less worried about our circumstances and burdens. I pray that we would all be confident in our union with God, coming to a place in which we don't waver but rather stand firm in His grace at all times.