Did you know that two verses in the Bible, one in the Old Testament, and one in the New Testament, tell us to “cast our cares on the Lord”? Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” Humm . . . that sounds a lot like 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Ok, the Bible says to cast all of my cares on the Lord, and I want to do it, but just how do I cast my cares and anxiety on the Lord? And as a side thought, why in Heaven’s name, does He want them??? Maybe because he is gracious and compassionate, abounding in loving-kindness!
What do these verses mean? I enjoy researching the Hebrew or Greek meaning of words in the Bible to understand the scriptures better. So here is what I have found out. (credit to Strong’s lexicon, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the Blue Letter Bible)
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. (NIV)
- Cast (shalak): throw out, throw down, throw away—all with force; hurl; throw (as stones)
- Cares (yehab): burden, lot (that which is given), what is given (by Providence)
- Sustain (kuwl): contain, hold, support, nourish, supply, feed, abide, bear, make provision
So Psalm 55:22 is saying something like this: “Hurl away with force (like winding up and throwing away a rock) the burdens you have due to your lot in life, things you have no control over, things that have been dished out to you that are burdensome. Hurl them onto the Lord and he will sustain, nourish, support, hold and make provision for you.”
And 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (NIV)
- Cast (epirito): throw upon; throw away; throw off once and for all (an act done only once)
- All (pas): all, any, every, the whole! 🙂
- Anxiety (merimna): care, distracting anxiety, drawn in different directions. (Found elsewhere describing the seed sown in thorny soil where the “cares of the world choke out the seed.” Mt 13:2, Mk 4:19)
- Cares (melei): care that foresees and provides; the watchful care of interest and affection; concern.
1 Tim 5:7 could read like “Throw away from yourself onto the Lord once and for all every anxious, distracting thought or thing that shreds you and draws you in a multitude of different directions, BECAUSE he watches over you with concern and affection. He knows your needs and he always provides what you truly need.
How do I “Cast My Cares on the Lord?”
- Believe – Believe that he really does care for me. God watches over me with affection and concern in order to provide for my needs. Psalm 55:23 concludes with the declaration “But as for me, I trust in you.” Believe that God IS trustworthy.
- Choose – make a choice to have a continual relationship with God; like David in Psalm 55:18 “Call to the Lord evening, morning and noon.” Cry out to him often in the midst of my troubles, cares, burdens, and anxious thoughts.
- Act – Throw with force all of my cares and needs, every distracting thought, every obstacle, or burden, onto the Lord. Put them in my hands, stand up and hurl them upward to God once and for all! And leave them there!
- Give Thanks – WHY? Because God cares for me and will sustain me and nourish me, he will hold me, support me and provide for all my needs. He watches over me with concern and affection all the time!
What a God!
I was visually handicapped for about 14 years. After the first (of seven) eye surgeries I developed complications (a soft eye, a wrinkle in my retina, and an infection in my eye). To make it worse my vision was deteriorating rapidly; it appeared that I was going blind in one eye. I had prayed with such faith that my sight would be restored by the surgery, (it was a miracle to have the surgery in the first place). I trusted in God’s love and goodness. But now instead of being healed, I was going blind. I would have an eye exam and purchase new glasses. But by the time I picked the glasses up my vision had deteriorated—and I would start the process again.
One evening as I cried out to the Lord, my spirit rose up within me. I knew without a doubt that no matter what happened God would be my God, my loving Father, my faithful friend until the day I died. Nothing, not even blindness would separate me from him. It was a precious moment with the Lord – I loved Him more than ever, and trusted Him completely with my life. I trusted that no matter what it looked like to me, God truly loved me. I hurled my fear of blindness on Him and trusted that He would always sustain me–and I knew that I would always love Him.
I would trade nothing for that evening with the Lord!
And the rest of the story . . .
8 years and more eye surgeries after that night my sight in both eyes was completely restored! Thank you Lord for the gift of clear vision! Thank you Lord for loving me, providing for me and sustaining me through it all!