Casting is not the problem, but trying to be patient once the casting is done, or trying to retrieve what you have cast can present problems.
“Casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
I have a few friends and family who like to go fishing. As a result, I have spent hours sitting on riverbanks and docks, watching my husband and kids casting their lines into rivers and lakes before waiting patiently for a fish to bite. I have also seen what a tangled mess a fishing line can become when it gets stuck on a rock or in weed, and how patient one has to be to untangle it!
A few days ago, a comment by author Max Lucado on his weekday blog, (Upwords, the teaching ministry of Max Lucado, April 29th 2020) inspired me. Commenting on 1 Peter 5:7 he simply said, “Casting is an intentional act to relocate an object. As you sense anxiety welling up inside you, cast it in the direction of Christ.”
In this verse, Peter is telling us to take our anxieties and deliberately cast them onto God. To relocate our fears into God’s hands. Having watched my fishermen friends and family, this seems to be a fairly straightforward exercise. Lift and fling! It seems to me that casting is not the problem, but trying to be patient once the casting is done, or trying to retrieve what you have cast can present problems.
Once casting his line, a fisherman cannot always see what is going on under the water. He has to be patient and wait for a fish to take the bait. Just as when we cast our anxieties onto God, we too must wait, without necessarily seeing what God is up to right away. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (bold and italics mine).
It is hard to wait and trust. Sometimes we give our worries to God and then try to pull them back as doubt creeps in. The fisherman who casts his line and repeatedly reels it back in without the ‘wait’ is not going to land any fish! He is more likely to cause a disturbance. It takes more effort to reel a line back in, especially if it becomes snagged on a log or something that causes it to break or tangle. Impatience and doubt can snag our confidence causing anxiety to escalate. James 1: 6 says that when asking God for help, we must believe and not doubt, because “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Just as a fishing line can get blown in the wrong direction and tangled by the wind, so can our emotions when doubt and fear are given a foothold.
God does not want us living under a burden of fear. He asks us to actively transfer our fear to him because he cares for us and is able to carry our burdens. Next time you find yourself worrying over something you have transferred to God in prayer, remind yourself that he has already taken responsibility for your concerns and has your very best interests at heart. As Isaiah 59:1 reminds us “The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.”
All things are possible with God. Be encouraged!
Prayer: Father, I am grateful to be able to cast my cares upon you. How you must long to carry my burdens so that I don’t have to. Help me to choose to transfer my anxieties over to you and give me patience and trust so that I don’t try to seize them back. Thank you merciful Father. In Jesus Name, Amen.