Even after fifty five years of walking with the Lord, I still find myself amazed that this relationship with Him is so personal. As I get older and realise more and more of the beauty and complexity of the world He created, the universe, and the whole spiritual realm too, it is somewhat overwhelming that He knows, loves and actually cares about me.
I wonder how I can have any significance in the grand scheme of things, and then I catch sight of Jesus again and again in the gospels, touching the lives of the ordinary person, as well as the marginalized, the insignificant and the downtrodden, and I think again, “this is the kind of God our world needs so badly”. Peter who had seen all of Jesus’ kindness first hand writes to his fellow believers ‘Cast the whole of your care on Him for He cares for you, affectionately and watchfully.’ 1Peter 5:7, AMP.
Peter could have taken the words from the psalmist who hundreds of years before Jesus had written ‘Cast you cares upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall’, Psalm 55:22. That was Old Testament, and the promise was linked to being ‘righteous’. Now, post the cross, with Jesus as our righteousness, we are invited not just to bring our cares to Him but we are invited to let Him be our partner in pulling the load of whatever life is putting on us, (see yesterdays blog).
The one to whom we are ‘yoking’ ourselves, the Lord, is also the one who is watching our back! That encouragement from Peter, in The Passion Translation, reads ‘pour out all your worries and cares on Him and leave them there, for He always tenderly cares for you’, and that last phrase in the literal translation of the Greek is ‘because it matters concerning you’. In other words what matters to you or me, matters to Jesus, and ‘pouring out our worries’, or ‘casting our cares onto Him’, implies a complete letting go of them to Him. It’s just amazing.
When Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, was telling people not to worry about food, drink and clothing – the essentials of life – He gave as a reason, the fact that we have a heavenly Father who knows what we need and who cares for us. Matthew 6:25-32. There it is again, He cares so that we can be worry free or carefree.
Have you ever noticed how ‘careless’, and ‘careful’ have taken on meanings that they should never have. Careless is not a complimentary term. Instead it conveys the sense of a person being casual and negligent, while ‘careful’ becomes a compliment, making the person sound responsible and reliable. In some quarters it can even be a badge of honour to be carrying so many cares, that we are careworn. It can be seen as a sign that the person is conscientious and taking their responsibilities seriously.
Well the Lord does not just want us to be ‘careless’, He wants us to be carefree. He does not want us to be careful, but caring. Let us thank God that He wants to carry all our cares for us, so that we can be free to care for others. We can be carefree but not uncaring. If we can do that, if we can ‘cast all our cares upon Him’, we can show the world who our Heavenly Father is. That He is not remote, disinterested or just waiting to tell them off for their bad behaviour, but He is good and kind and caring.
As we become aware of any cares that we are carrying, let us intentionally take them to Him and leave them with Him. Sometimes it helps to write them down and make a conscious choice to hand that list over to Him. As we do we can thank Him that we are not bothering Him again, but that this is what He wants from us. Let our thanks to Him be an expression of our trust in His fatherhood and of our faith that He is actively caring for us. Then let us thank Him publicly, as and when, we see that He has indeed ‘taken care’ of these things, because the world is waiting to hear about this God of ours who really cares.