Confidently Casting Our Cares
Oct 24, 2015 10:41PM
By Bonnie Lyn Smith
I was having the most peaceful, productive, encouraging day. I had just finished up a videoconference with a professional collaborating with me for a special needs inclusion ministry we are trying to build within our church. After an hour and a half of bouncing ideas around with an expert I greatly admire in the field, I drew in a deep breath, composed an email to the ministry leaders at my church, and made my lunch.
I was jazzed. Passions of mine were not only being picked back up again, but they were riding the surf into deeper waters. This is the stuff I live for! I was being equipped to do it better. That was invigorating!
Then in came Kids One and Two.
Phew, no teen angst. Happy days. They shared a few thoughts and even made me laugh. A complaint or two was offered about it being Thursday and the snacks were running out (wonder how they do that?). Everyone moved on to showers, dressing for karate and dance, and homework. If you interact with any teenagers, you know that you have to prepare yourself for anything coming at you. Kids-metamorphosing-into-adults are a complex breed. I love them but never know which persona will walk through the door.
Ah. Another few moments to ponder the peace.
And then Bus Number 3 pulled up.
Oh good, Little Man looked even-kiltered. A few steps up the driveway and into the house.
Then I mentioned an after-school activity, and as if released by some invisible trigger, anxiety suddenly shot itself across my peace and calm with great precision. Oh, my, did we not have a good day?
The next 20 minutes involved a dumping out of all stress held in by a third grader trying to navigate the perceived wrong in his world that particular day. Because Little Man struggles to regulate emotion when there is cognitive blocking, I had to sit there, letting fireballs of anger, disappointment, and fear ricochet off me. I wanted to shut it down, and at some point I did (we all need boundaries, don’t we?), but it was important to listen, to empathize, and to sort out the triggers.
They turned out to be a bee in his schoolroom, overcrowding on his part of the school bus, and a recess misunderstanding. Nothing earthshattering or of significant long-term consequence. They merely represented bottled-up stress.
Isn’t that the way it usually is? The one thing that sets us off is really small in light of the pile-up we’ve allowed to accumulate within?
After cutting off the discussion before it became unhealthy perseveration, I took about 20 minutes away after offering him some ways to relax.
When I checked back in again, he said he was feeling much better.
So I ask you:
Why don’t we do this with God?
Why don’t we come in the door and speak openly with Him?
Why don’t we cast all our cares to the Best Listener there is?
1 Peter 5:6-7, ESV, Apostle Peter
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your cares on him, because he cares for you.
Notice which statement comes first.
That may seem like a tall order, but the truth is that the minute we cry out we are humbling ourselves. We are saying: “Jesus, I need you. I can’t pull this off myself. Please speak into my life.”
Why do we so easily run to a friend, a parent, a spouse?
Well, God gave us people to listen to us. That’s true.
But when our day is horrible and messy, and we don’t even understand ourselves, nobody knows us better than our Maker does.
Psalm 139:1-4, ESV, King David speaking
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You know what Psalm 139 suggests to me? God already knows us inside and out. He’s waiting for us to know Him better. He’s also expecting us to talk to Him more, to tell Him about our day, to share our deepest dreams, thoughts, and fears.
If we are confident He already knows it all, why are we so shy to plop down on the couch and speak to Him in the same way Little Man entered the safety of his own home and then let it all out?
When we speak to God, we are in a sanctuary of relationship with Him. Going back to the 1 Peter verse, we are to cast all our cares on Him. Why?
Because He’s capable?
Because He already knows them?
Because He wants to free us of them?
Peter states that the reason is: He cares for us.
Wow. Doesn’t that suggest to you deep relationship? How many people in your life ask you to pile your anxieties and problems onto them? Or maybe some do, but with limits.
How about a God Who invites you to share your heart with Him at the deepest level?
He doesn’t leave us there. The author of the book of Hebrews states why we can have such confidence to approach God. Jesus knows our humanity. He has walked our earth with human feet.
Hebrews 4:14-16, ESV, anonymously
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Where do you need to “receive mercy and find grace to help in a time of need”?
Do you feel you can “trouble” your Savior about bees, the bus, and a bumpy recess, or do you only come to Him on your knees when the bottom falls completely out?
Try coming like a child, entering the Throne of Grace, and emptying yourself before a God Who invited you to cast cares at Him, Who sent His Son to die (and rise again) so you could approach Him cleansed and confident.
Then be still.
I bet like Little Man, you will feel better after a while too.
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration.