(Image found at http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/worryfea/worry1.htm)
Let’s continue our occasional focus on worry with another excerpt from my book, Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries. This time, let’s look at I Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (NASB).
What do you think of when you read that word, “cast”? Previously, I’d envisioned the word “cast” as referring to a fly fisherman calmly casting his lure out over an ambling stream with the bright sun shining and birds twittering in the background.
But that isn’t the picture of this word “cast”! “Cast” is a Greek word that denotes violence! Surprised? I was! It is more synonymous with words like hurling, thrusting, expelling, and throwing. We’ve got a photo op here of a baseball pitcher hurling that little baseball so fast that I can’t even see it! That’s how we’re supposed to cast our worries upon Him! We’re supposed to take action! My friend and neighbor, Joanie Dill, told me her definition of worry: “stewing without doing.” If we will “cast” our worry onto God, we won’t be guilty of that!
I recently talked with a woman named Beth at a retreat in the Midwest who gave me an example of “casting.” Beth and her husband, Gene, were deeply concerned about their eighteen-year-old daughter and her boyfriend. Mallory and Noah had been dating only about two months yet Beth and Gene sensed “red flags” about this young man. Noah frequently threw around hundred dollar bills as if they were candy bars. He bought Mallory expensive gifts and seemed eager to show his bulging wallet.
When Beth and Gene tried to point out to Mallory how unusual it was for a nineteen-year-old to have hundreds of dollars available, she reasoned, “His parents own a construction company and they pay him well.” But Beth and Gene smelled something suspicious. Yet reasoning with Mallory didn’t seem to make any difference and they knew forbidding her from seeing Noah would only make her more adamant to plan ways to see him.
Beth and Gene finally took the action of forbidding Mallory to receive any more gifts from Noah, even as they “cast” their worry upon God in prayer, asking him to take action on Mallory’s behalf.
Then Noah was in an automobile accident and drugs were found in his car when the police arrived. He was under the influence of drugs and even though he claimed he was carrying the drugs for someone else, Mallory’s eyes were opened. With a sigh of relief and thanks to God, Beth and Gene saw their daughter willing to break off her relationship with Noah. They had wisely taken appropriate action when called for, even while taking their worry to God in prayer.
Anxiety and worry seek to divide and conquer, making us unable to focus and fight against our worry. And it makes us take action in ways that God is not leading because of fear and the need to control. But taking the action God directs is the key that 1 Peter 5:7 gives us.
Is there some way you need to “cast” your cares upon God by taking the action He is directing? Even as you do, leave the results to God and believe He will be faithful to work according to His will.