How to Cast Your Cares on Jesus

Photo credit: Julie Jablonski

If you’re alive, then you have some things you’re carrying around. Some things that crush in on your heart, that cause you some angst or maybe a great deal of pain, even. Probably things you can’t control, or else you would, and you’re not quite sure what to do with them.

In fact, you might be so busy that you don’t even know all the things that are there. You just walk around with this gnawing sense that something is there, always there, and it’s crowding out any semblance of joy you once had and infringing on your ability to relax, ever, and take deep breaths and enjoy your life.

Or perhaps you do know exactly what the thing is that’s bugging you, keeping you awake at night. Maybe it’s that one strained relationship that causes your heart to be sore every time you think of it and what could be or should have been.

Maybe it’s the job that’s way too stressful and it’s wearing you out.

Or it could be those kids of yours that you love with all your heart and the headlines make your blood pressure rise ’cause you get so worried for your babes.

Maybe it’s the refugees. Maybe you’ve been reading about them on the internet and you put yourself in their shoes for a bit and your heart doesn’t know how to handle their war-torn stories.

Or maybe you’ve got some deadlines to meet and you know people will be expecting big things from you and you’re terrified that you’ll show up, only to disappoint.

Or maybe someone you love just died. And you had to see the way they suffered before they went and it’s changed you and your heart feels unstable and a little too vulnerable right now, and it’s affecting the way you process life.

Photo credit: Julie Jablonski

Do you find yourself in here anywhere? Because I could keep going.

Some of you have lived in fast forward for so long that you’ve got these health problems or insomnia or you’re depressed and you don’t even know how to pin-point what the heck it is that’s been taking away all your peace.

Some of you are afraid to slow down, because then you’ll have to face some of the painful stuff and you’re terrified that you won’t be able to handle it, or even know what to do with it once it starts to surface.

But, if you’re living, you’ve got these things that you’re carrying and as your heart beats, it’s telling you, (in the words of Adele) “Hello. It’s me…

And your heart needs you to remember that it’s there and that it’s strong, yes, and it’s pumping out life for you, yes, but that there’s only so much it can handle and it really needs you to tend to it.

Someone stronger than your heart is nearby, who has always been present in your life and aware of the things that have come into it, and that have troubled you, and He makes this crazy offer, “Cast your cares on Me, because I care about you.” (see 1 Peter 5:7)

And so maybe you nod His way, and you appreciate His sentiment, but the truth is, you don’t know how to cast your cares on Him, or even what that means.

Do you mind if I walk you through this? I don’t want to insult your intelligence, but it’s just that I’ve been ambling along with Jesus for a lot of years, and sometimes I still need someone to walk me through it.

(So Jesus, even now, would You walk us through this with You? In Your Name, I ask.)

Firstly, we have to have some faith that Jesus really is there.

He’s present in your life right now at this moment and He’s been present with you in all your moments. He’s the great I AM. (see John 8:58) That means wherever your heart got bruised up or started carrying heavy things on the timeline of your life, Jesus existed there, though you didn’t see Him or think about Him or realize He was anywhere around.

And since Jesus also suffered excruciating things in His earthly life, He can fully comprehend and be in tune to our pain. He doesn’t stand aloof or far off, but walks through the hard things with His children. Even in very dark valleys, He is there, to comfort. (see Psalm 23: 4)

So, we begin with faith that Jesus is present and available to us and as we recall to mind that He does actually care, we take comfort that He is big and strong and able to both carry us through and do things with the trials that we give to Him.

Casting our cares on Jesus always begins with conversation with Him. Just like any other relationship, we have to do a whole lot of talking and a fair amount of listening.

We begin where we can. We start with where it hurts or with the first memory that comes up and we talk to Jesus about it. We tell Him honestly how things made us feel and we ask Him our questions. Or if we don’t have words yet, that’s okay, we can still communicate. We just point to the thing that stings. Jesus can see the pictures in our mind and understand the emotions of our heart, even when we can’t.

And we do this through everything that surfaces. We cry if we need to and most likely, we really need to. But, we cry knowing that we are held. Sometimes we have to use our God-given imagination, so we can really see what that looks like—Jesus gently holding our head against His chest.

Little by little, this is how we cast our cares on Him. We have to tell Him things. And then we picture ourselves handing it over, like a kid does with a wise and loving parent, “Here. This is too hard for me to carry. You carry it since You’re big and kind and good and while You’re carrying it, will you make it into something good and useful in Your Kingdom? I really need to know that this isn’t gonna be wasted.”

Then you trust God’s heart.

And since that’s so easy to say and not at all easy to know how to actually do, you get up and you find some Scriptures to read or a song to sing. If you don’t know where to go in that great big Bible of yours, just open up the Psalms. There you’ll read David’s words, who was always troubled about something and running to his Father’s heart relentlessly to tell Him things and find Him faithful.

You’ll read things like,

Is there any place I can go to avoid Your Spirit?
To be out of Your sight?
If I climb up to the sky, You’re there!
If I go underground, You’re there!

If I flew on morning’s wings
To the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute–
You’re already there waiting!

Then I said to myself, “Oh, He even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to You;
Night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to You. (Psalm 139: 7-12) (The Message)

Photo credit: Julie Jablonski

And if you don’t know what to sing, there’s this melody I like to sing to God. I sing it with my hands held out and open to Him, like a cup to receive His love and grace. I’m gonna leave you with this song, friends, and a prayer as you seek to walk with Him here, through all your joys and all your pains.

Dear Lord,

You see my friends and how much they need some solace in their souls. I pray Philippians 4:6-7 for them now. Help them not to worry about things. Instead, let them come to you and talk to you about all that’s on their hearts. The big stuff. The little stuff. The stuff they can’t even formulate into words just yet. It’s just weighty. Too weighty.

Help them to ask You for the things they need from You and remember to thank You for what You’ve already done. The ways You’ve shown up for them and provided for them already today. Let them experience Your peace—the kind that defies all human logic and exceeds anything they can understand. May Your peace guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In His Name I ask. For Your glory. And because You love them. Amen

(Friends, today I shared my friend, Julie Jablonski’s incredible photography with you because she has a way of capturing light and beauty and glory in both the wild and ordinary things. If you get some time soon, go check out her awe-inspiring art here. She also shares lovely things on her blog here. Thank you, Julie! You’ve blessed me.)

1 Comment

  1. by Julie Jablonski on December 14, 2015  7:40 am Reply

    Such wonderful words on this Monday morning, Maggie! Oh yes, cast all of your cares on Him... only Jesus is big enough, loving enough, ready, willing, and able enough to lift all of our cares and then gently carry us too. A beautiful picture ~ beautiful truth. Thank you for sharing some of my photographs. It's such a delight to see them here. The LORD bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you, today and everyday, sweet friend.

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