Casting: Trust Muscles Needed
Look up the word cast in a dictionary, and you will see numerous definitions. Context is needed in order to understand the speaker's intent. If conversing with a fisherman, casting would refer to the action he takes to propel a line to the area where he hopes to entice a fish. A lamp casts light into the surrounding space, illuminating an area or casting a shadow. When speaking with someone in healthcare, cast may refer to the fiberglass application used to immobilize a limb and properly set a bone. One may cast a vote to approve or reject a motion during a business meeting. In 1 Peter 5:7, the disciple Peter used cast with yet another meaning. He stated, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV). Although a fisherman by trade, Peter is not telling his readers to cast their anxiety to God, wait, and then reel it back in. He is reminding believers to forcefully fling or hurl their anxieties to God because he cares for them. But how often do we cast our anxieties to God, only to resume carrying our anxiety a short time later?
In other translations of 1 Peter 5:7, the word anxiety is translated as cares. The idea of flinging your anxieties or cares to God conjures an image of someone struggling to throw a heavy object. Memories of watching the 2016 summer Olympians hurl the disc, javelin, or shot put come to mind. The weight of our cares can hinder us from moving freely, yet the word cares implies that they matter or have significance to us. How then do we fling things of significance to God? By developing the muscles of trust. We can trust him “because he cares for us.” Psalm 55:22 proclaims the promise, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (NIV). This verse does not promise the removal of your cares, but rather the gift of being sustained. In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus states, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The first step is to come to Jesus, and first steps are often achieved only after great effort. But what a promise! We will not be completely freed from work, for we are instructed to take on Christ's yoke. However, in this work, in this partnership, we will find rest for our souls; we will be strengthened.
How are your trust muscles? Are you casting your cares or struggling to balance them? Build those trust muscles and cast your cares on God. Repeat on a daily, or even minute-to-minute, basis pro re nata or PRN (as needed). The more often you do so, the stronger those muscles become. Most importantly, remember, God cares for you.
Anxiety Is Optional
What is the source of your stress? Does your stress lead to anxiety? Students experience stress as they balance academics, work schedules, family responsibilities, and life in general. Nurses and nursing students alike regularly enter into relationships with new clients, with different needs in a wide variety of circumstances. Clients, too, deal with stress. Our work demands flexibility, the willingness to enter into another's pain, and the ability to empathize within therapeutic boundaries. Stress does not need to lead to anxiety. Stress managed well, by casting our anxiety on God, will not leave us shaken, but strengthened and assured that God does indeed care for us.
He cares. He sustains. He comforts. We will not be shaken.