I have something I want you to do. Take a piece of paper (any size will do) and write down something that worries you a lot. Now take that paper, wad it up, and toss it in the trash.
How did that feel?
Recently, our Family Ministry Team hosted something called Family Conversations. The first week’s topic was “Worry & Anxiety.” That’s a pretty hot topic right now isn’t it?
Our Kids Ministry Team had Kindergarten-5th graders do the exercise I just asked you to do. Yes, those little tiny fingers and hands wrote out the things that cause their heart to fear. Then they crumpled them into balls and threw them at targets. They were reminded that they need not worry, fret, or fear because God—well, He is faithful. He is near. He cares for every worry, every tear, every anxious beat of their tiny little hearts.
Several years ago, my friend Cat spoke this verse to me when I was struggling with worrying about a situation in my life. Though a familiar verse, after listening to her and really thinking about the words, I saw rich truths that I had not seen before.
… casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
This verse is a quote from Psalm 55:22 which says,
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never
permit the righteous to be moved.
The words casting or cast in these verses mean to throw, to throw away, to fling, hurl, or cast down.
Think about what you do when you throw a frisbee or shoot a basketball. There’s a certain finesse that happens with your arm and wrist when you perform these activities. There’s meaning and purpose behind them. There is a target in place for these items to head to.
The same is true in these verses about casting. Both say we are to cast our burdens or anxieties on Him, the LORD (Yahweh)—the self-existent One, who has the power to carry your burdens and is present with you in the midst of your troubles to receive them.
Can you picture in your mind this idea of purposefully throwing or casting your worries onto the LORD and Him receiving them? Close your eyes a moment and picture Him catching your burdens and carrying them. Much like a mom who, when helping her child who is weighed down with things to carry, comes alongside and carries part of that load for her son or daughter, that’s what the LORD (Yahweh) desires to do for us.
Notice that the 1 Peter verse says to cast all your cares on Him. Not just one or two—ALL—the whole or every kind. In other words, not just part, not just one or two—He wants them all. He won’t tire. He won’t grow weary. Your burdens won’t become too much for the LORD to bear or too heavy for Him to carry. Yahweh has an unending supply of strength and power.
And what exactly is a burden?
… your cares and concerns, the things that cause you stress and make you anxious, the things that weigh you down and make you feel tired, worn out, and weary.
Why should we cast our burdens and what will this casting accomplish?
Scripture says we are to cast because He cares (1 Peter 5:7) and because Yahweh will sustain. (Psalm 55:22).
Just as you desire to alleviate hardship for those you love, so the LORD desires to alleviate hardship for us. Don’t get me wrong, hardship is purposeful. Those things that concern and worry us often include teachable truths from which we can grow. But the real growth occurs when we trust Yahweh enough to cast those heartaches and worries on Him. That’s right. Purposefully casting those difficulties on the LORD, aiming them straight for Him teaches us dependency, broadens our concept of His faithfulness, and opens our eyes to the unseen grace and power of God.
Do you remember Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34 about worry and anxiety? Jesus commands us not to worry, but in verse 33, He tells us what we should do. He says …
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
Seek Him. Lean into Him. Surrender to Him.
Wad up your worries, friend, and purposefully aim them toward the LORD. Yahweh will gain the victory for you, causing your heart to rest, and helping you find joy and peace once again.