Friday, July 2nd, 2010
The quiet stillness of the slowly flowing water into the fieldside tributaries.
We may not see it but God is soaking us with His care.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Take a moment and breathe this in. Cast all your anxiety – on Him – because
He cares – for you.
This passage comes to my mind a lot. Those of you who know me know that I am a pretty high maintenance person sometimes. My emotional levels can go down quite easily and when they are down I can feel pretty defeated. It’s during the down times that I have the greatest need for special comfort to help me on the course of life.
One of my negative self talk mantras is, “what am I chopped liver”. This phrase comes up when I am feeling unheard, unimportant, or just ignored. I have to pay attention when I am hearing that in my head. This is when I need to hear something to counteract the lie that comes with my self talk.
This passage is simple and yet profound. To read this scripture is to see one of the most descriptive statements on who God really is, His character, and how He relates to us. If you are anything like me you also have those challenging days where you feel fearful, anxious, or just plain needy. Where shall we turn to gain strength to keep moving forward?
The New Living version of the Bible says, cast all of your “worries” and “cares” to God. Do you worry? I certainly do. I worry about provision. I worry about relationships. I worry about doing the right thing or failing to succeed. So, in a fuller context, I would say He very much cares about my worries.
I have always heard that it was a sin to worry. But worrying is more about what I am feeling than it is about not trusting God. I am feeling fearful, insecure, concerned and all of this translates into feeling “worried” about something that is very important to me. If I think about God’s heart through this passage, He knows when I worry and wants to help me with the worries that I seem to often fall into. Because He cares deeply, I feel validated when I worry.
The Message says, ” Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” This particular version goes a step further in this concept. Not only does it give me a sense of his desire for me to live more freely from my weakened self talk, but says He is “most” careful with me. Given my emotional sensitivities and weakness towards self pity, I can trust that God will be careful with me.
This doesn’t mean in any way that He will treat me with kid gloves, I don’t need that. Rather, He says He will take great care with me. That tells me that with great consideration and thought, He will come into my life with just what I need. And who better than God to know how to handle me? He knows exactly what I need and the right timing to bring it.
As I look at the picture of the slowly moving river it gives me rest. The calm nature of the slowly moving tributary through the fields shows that it is providing the area with the nurturing quality of water but not so much as to wash away the foundation. It is just easing into the fields with great care. It is soaking, not with stagnant pools rather a fresh flow from somewhere upstream.
There are times when I can handle the rougher things in life and actually can be invigorated by them. But, when I am particularly fragile emotionally I really need the cautious and yet specific care of my Lord’s love.
One of my favorite scriptures is:
Isaiah 40:27-31 (The Message)
- Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
- Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
- God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out.
- He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
- But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles.
- They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
In the NIV it actually it sounds more like an announcement:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
When I am feeling tired, drained, worn out from life I think of the song that goes with this passage. “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint….they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”
It is something that requires me to take it in, to soak a little with it, to breathe a sigh of relief that someone is watching out for me. The immovable knowledge that someone cares. There is a powerful but tender God who is willing to breathe His life into me when I need it most.
It is during these times when I need to be specific about “casting” my cares upon Him and to know that He cares for me.
(Song by Paul Berkus, used with permission) www.paulberkus.com
© John J. Smid 2010