When you think of the word “care”, what comes to your mind?
Because we can be real with each other. We all have cares – those worries, those issues, those annoyances, those problems. That are trying to distract us from God’s goodness. That are trying to suffocate our hope. That are trying to convince us that God’s love isn’t big enough or His power not strong enough to help us.
As I drove home from a concert last night, I realized I have cares. I can pretend I don’t. I can pretend I am fine. I can pretend my mind isn’t heavy. But I have cares. And by pretending I don’t, they are weighing me down.
So I need to deal with them. I need to own the feelings that aren’t of God. I need to separate the unreal emotions from the truth of God’s love.
And He gives me the perfect starting place.
Humble yourself. Accept your human limitations and bow down your heart onto Him and His wisdom. Admit you cannot manage your life. Allow grace to overwhelm you – to fill you and surround you.
And in doing so, begin to throw all your distractions, worries, and stress to Him. For help. For healing. For hope.
He wants you to take ease and refresh yourself completely – body, emotions, and mind. “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Come to Me, your loving Creator, and cast your cares into My loving arms. Toss your worries, throw your fears, and thrust your problems – without exception and with great expectation.
And not just for 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. He is asking us to unburden ourselves at ANY point of the day or night. He is asking us to come to Him with ANYTHING weighing us down WHENEVER we realize it is there. He is asking us to stop allowing ourselves to be distracted from all the goodness and grace available to us.
Because focusing on our cares doesn’t get us anything good. Anything with blessing. Anything with mercy. Anything with hope. Just like the disciples after Jesus’ death. Devastated at their loss, they did the only thing they knew – they went back to fishing. But there was no joy – and no fish. “Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We are going with you also.’ They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing” (John 21:3).
See that? Despite casting their nets all night, they caught nothing. Which gave them a lot of time to think about what their lives would look like now that their beloved Teacher was gone. And they probably sat all night and wallowed in their cares about returning to ordinary life as they recasted their empty nets over and over again.
And as morning dawned and their hope was gone, Jesus shows up. Knowing they are unaware of who He is, He advises them to cast their nets in a new direction – “And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some…’” (John 21:6a).
Because they were fixated on one side of the boat – and on one train of thought about His death – that He needed to shake up their care-full reality to see the possibilities all around them. So He asks them to thrown down, pour out, send away, and thrust away all their cares – both with fishing and with their grief.
And He’s asking us to do the same thing today. It’s the brutal truth that nailed me between the eyes as I drove home tonight. I think I am not brooding, but I am. And I need to turn my brooding into praying and praising. I think I am not holding onto worry, but I am. And I need to let go of the possibilities of tomorrow that may never become a reality and live in the moment. I think I am walking in faith, but I am not. And I need to unclench my fists and let go of the string of control I think is mine so He can move freely and wildly in my life.
And is it worth it? Let’s ask the disciples. When they did as they were advised by this stranger (they did not yet know it was their beloved Teacher), “ … they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish” (John 21:6b). They were blessed with an abundance of fish. And then they were blessed even more when they finally realized who He is and got to talk to Him again.
So today I am getting honest. Very honest. I am looking my care directly in the face and naming it, so darkness cannot deceive or overtake me. I will talk about the struggle to give space for His light. I am taking EVERY care and nailing it to the Cross. Because I need to let go of my cares and pick up His grace. It’s the only way to have peace.
Will you join me today?
Bonus Scriptures on casting:
- Romans 13:12 – The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 – casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
- Hebrews 10:35 – Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
- Psalm 55:22 – Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Marie Fremin. 10/21/16 and 3/2/17