Choices – Decisions – Options – Alternatives
Everyday we are faced with 100s of decisions and split second chances to make appropriate choices. These can be as simple as what to wear that day or what to eat for dinner (never a simple choice for me). These can be as difficult as a health care decision for a family member or a financial choice that could affect your future.
No one told us that we had to do life on our own. No one told us that we are capable of handling life on our own. God teaches us volumes through Peter, one of His disciples, who lived a life for Christ and understood intimately what it meant to live with suffering, persecution and uncertainty. Peter’s time and place – even though different physically from our world today – emotionally parallels our current situations. Peter as a disciple of Jesus made the choice to thank God for all and in all circumstances praised God. Peter extended comfort to the people he interacted with knowing that Christ did the same and continues to do the same for each of us. Peter encouraged the people because he knew firsthand that believers in Christ would be questioned and challenged daily.
Peter was able to sustain his ministry because he did not walk the path alone. Peter followed Christ and held firmly to His promises:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert.
1 Peter 5:7-8 NIV1984
Peter lived these words daily and journeyed forward because Christ was by his side carrying the burden. The lesson in the words above is one we should study and apply for our own lives. As temptation taunts us or everyday life becomes exhausting or we struggle with accomplishing simple tasks, we can remind ourselves of Peter and the example he portrayed for all those around him.
Looking more closely at the words in 1 Peter 5:7-8, I am first struck by the word “cast”. The first definition that appears for cast in dictionary.com is “to throw or hurl, fling”. There is no mistaking that if you are going to “cast” something you mean business. Holding on is not an option and getting rid of “said object or emotion” is going to happen quickly. I love the strength of the word “cast” and you know with certainty the action involved when casting away hurt, anxiety, temptation, etc.
The next word in the verse, though small, packs a mighty punch – “ALL”. God asks us to cast “all” not a little, not some, not part of, but all our anxiety on Him. God can handle anything that we throw his way. We can handle very little without “The Great Handler” stepping in to relieve the burdens of this world from our weary bodies. Hand it over-you won’t be disappointed and like Peter, you can spend all that extra time encouraging others and completing the tasks God has in mind for you.
Reassurance prefaces the words “because he cares for you”. We understand the feeling of being cared for – it reminds me of my mom and dad. This feeling evokes comfort, needs being met and security all wrapped in love. We are more willing to follow through with a challenge or a routine task when we know with certainty that caring is a caress away.
Finally we are asked to “be self-controlled and alert”. Life carries with it a sense of responsibility and accountability. God asks us to cast our cares on Him but to be sensible in our choices. Stay alert when making choices and choose wisely and responsibly. God will always be by our side to share our struggles and rejoice in our accomplishments but our free choice must be used wisely.
How will you cast your anxieties today? Will you try to figure it out on your own or will you look to God who promises to help?
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