Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Casting Cares

This past Sunday I was dwelling on a well-quoted scripture: 1 Peter 5:6-7.  It says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."  

To be honest, it's one of those passages I've read and heard so many times that it takes some effort to internalize and be meaningful.  Even though it's not a new concept to me, what came to my mind was to bring all the things, people, and situations I care about and put them--figuratively--into God's hand.  I love this because God's hand is a place of power. 

Today I decided to look up the Greek--I'm a language person :)--and I absolutely love all of the connotations of God's hand in scripture.  Not only is it what He uses to create the universe, but to protect, to punish evil, and "in determining and controlling the destinies of men."  That sounds like a great place to leave something that's troubling me.  And the reason it's probably bothering me anyway is because I lack the attributes that God has: the power and control.

So, why don't I do this more often?  Maybe it's my Low Country life that is used to holding onto the net when casting.  In prayer, I don't always ignore things, but I find myself stopping short of casting--throwing away from myself and releasing it completely to God to deal with. Sometimes I'll "pray" and tell God about it without really giving it to Him.  

Image result for cast net
From Charlie Scott SCBC site
"Prayer is not asking.  Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts."                                                                ~Mother Theresa

The reason scripture gives to throw our cares at Jesus is because God cares for us.  What's on God's heart and mind is us.  We matter to Him.  What concerns us concerns Him.  It really doesn't matter what it is, how big and impossible, how seemingly trite and insignificant.  He invites us to not just tell Him about, but to throw the things that trouble us onto Him.  And I love that it works for the concerns we have on behalf of those we care about!

"You search the Scriptures, for you believe they give you eternal life.  And the Scriptures point to me!  Yet you won't come to me so that I can give you this life eternal!  John 5:39-40 TLB

Most of my cares right now seem directly or indirectly connected to my preparation for the mission field--including the timing of when I will leave.  So, how convenient that this passage even addresses timing.  Some translations say "in due time," others "the right time" or "the proper time."  Does anyone else translate this as "not my timing"?  (Just being honest).  We shouldn't.  I mean, chances are God's timing may not be ours; but if it isn't, it's because the conditions aren't right.  

Last Greek reference, but Peter uses the word kairos here.  I love this word.  I remember my pastor preaching on Mark 1:15 years ago as a karios moment.  It's a moment in time where the conditions are right to take an opportunity.  In fact, if you don't take it, it may be a really long time--or never--when the opportunity will present itself again. 

So, in this case, when we are able to let go of our cares and trustingly leave them in God's powerful, mighty hand, there's a promise regarding the timing of God to raise us to a place of "dignity, honor, and happiness" (exalting us). Basically, God knows when everything is at its peak and opportune time and promises that timing to answer and bless us with the concerns we bring to Him.  So, what do you say?  One by one, let's start casting those cares to Jesus and see what happens.
  
Quotes regarding Greek definitions taken from blueletterbible.org.  



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