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Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
I posted last Saturday about some decisions I made in the wake of some emotional overload. One of those decisions was to be in the Word more consistently. I have been reading through a devotional book in the mornings which has been good. But quite honestly, I need more.
However, this devotional book – an old one I’ve had for a few years – has spoken to my heart in this time of high emotions through the verses above. I know these verses. I’ve known them for years. But how easy it is to not practice the principle of casting my cares on Him. Somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, I think I can still handle my emotions by myself. I can’t. I need the Lord.
Matthew 11:30 says that His yoke is easy, His burden is light. I so want that for myself. I want easy. I want light. But I need to also remember that He doesn’t promise a burden-less existence. Only that when I trade my burdens for His, my load for His, I will be able to handle it – because I am yoked together with Him.
I’m been mulling these verses over in my head for a few days. Wondering how to make this act of casting my cares on Him real. Wondering what it would look like in my life. I know it involves surrendering to His will, trusting in the goodness of God, and prayer – lots of prayer! It means believing He wants the best for me, that His timing is perfect, and His way is far better than my way.
But these are difficult concepts to live out. Like nailing Jello to the wall, as the saying goes. However, I’m still going to try. I need concrete steps to take that will help me cast my cares on Jesus, surrender to His will, and walk in faith with Him trusting He only wants what is best for me.
Steps to Take
My first step: examine my schedule – not the day-off, weekend schedule. But the daily schedule with my ridiculous commute. Look at it honestly, and schedule time in His Word and prayer. Even if it means getting up at four in the morning. Even if it means I don’t write every day. Even if it means I give up TV or leisure reading. Jesus and His Word first and foremost.
Second, I need to work in more exercise somehow. Even if it’s starting out by just walking 5,000 or 6,000 steps a day – with the goal of reaching 10,000 eventually. Even if it means walking the halls at school after hours to reach my step goal, or walking in the mall, or walking through a big box store every other day. I need the exercise, little though it will be. It is a place to start.
Something else will have to go in order to add exercise. I’m thinking of cutting sleep back to 7 hours a night (I’m not sleeping well anyway, so maybe cutting back will help in that area too). I’d like to do my walking after my commute and before I arrive home for two reasons. First, the long drive makes my legs restless and cramped, so walking afterward would work out those kinks. Also, once I get home, I’m on relax mode – except for my writing brain and typing fingers!
That’s it. I’m limiting my decisions to two, so I can focus on making them a reality. I will still write – I need to write. I will still work – I need to work. I will still spend time with my husband and family – I need that too. But these two areas – walking more and committing to more time in the Word and prayer will change. I might even be able to ‘double-dip’ by praying while I’m walking!
Reminders to Cast Your Cares
I also have reminders for you to help you cast your cares on Jesus. First, look closely at 1 Peter 5:7 – it doesn’t say ‘cast your cares’ it says ‘cast ALL your cares.’ Big difference there! You and I cannot hang on to some and expect our anxieties to decrease, our burdens to lessen.
Second, consider Psalm 55:22. It says that as we bring our burdens to the Lord, He sustains us. Sustain means to uphold, to bear the weight of, to endure or enable to endure, to keep something or someone going. The Lord is the One who sustains us. He keeps us going when we don’t have strength in ourselves. He bears the weight of our load and exchanges it for His lighter burdens. He relieves us of unrealistic expectations, unmeetable goals, and unendurable situations.
How to Cast Your Cares
Finally, a how-to. This is nothing profound or deep, but it covers what I’ve discussed here today in an easy to remember way.
CAST = Commit, Ask, Surrender, Trust
Commit yourself, your family, your situation, your needs, your dreams, your hopes to the Lord. Commit everything to Him. He is all we really need, and as Matthew 6:33 reminds us, as we seek Him, He will take care of everything else.
Ask in prayer for wisdom, strength, guidance, understanding, and vision. Ask for what you need, what you want, what you think you might need, and especially for whatever the Lord knows you need. Pray constantly.
Surrender your hopes, goals, dreams, desires, situations, relationships, career – surrender everything to Him. Give God permission to work in your life, in any and every aspect of your life in whatever way seems best to Him. Open the door to God’s best, then expect Him to show up.
Trust Jesus. Remember, He wants nothing but the best for you. However, His best and our view of best often don’t match up. Accept that what you think is best might not be so, but what Jesus thinks is best, truly is. That may mean going through some painful times. I’ve been there. Grow from those times. Grow closer to the Lord. Grow in faith. Grow in prayer. Grow in trust. And revel in the relationship you are building with Jesus, your Savior and King.