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Friday, September 18, 2015

After The Casting

It dawned on me at 3 am that my high school freshman would be missing almost half of his math classes the first three weeks of school due to golf matches.

My eyes snapped open.  A core class, at the end of the day.  He has a study hall right away in the morning.  Could he switch it?  How many math classes could there be?  He plays on the school golf team; who (other than the two of us) failed to realize that there might be a problem with this scheduling?  Is this actually a problem?  Who should he contact?  What will he do?  Should I step in?  He’s in 9th grade; this is something that he is capable of handling.  What is my role here? What can he do what should we do what is there to do?

Several times I tried to cast my worries to God.  “I’m casting this to you, God,” I thought, as my husband snored peacefully beside me.  He doesn’t worry like I do.  I casted my concerns to God over and over, imagining throwing an empty net up in the air (Why an empty net?  Shouldn’t it be filled with ugly, fish-faced worries?  To be fair, it was 3 am) and watching it fall back to the earth.  My strength wasn’t up to the task, and as that net in my imagination tumbled down, I gave up and went back to fumbling with the worries.

I like the image of casting our troubles away.  Instead of trying to run away from our troubles or manage them alone, we throw them.  We play a one-way game of catch with God, and heave them with all our might into his waiting hands.  We pray “thy will be done” and put our faith in him, staying close to him in his word and in our behavior.  In the meantime, we draw closer to him.

Trouble is, our strength isn’t always up to the task.  We hang onto our worries because it’s our habit.  Sometimes we say “Here, catch” to God and in the next moment we forget to sit quietly and listen for him.  Worrying is more active.  Waiting on God is noble and I know it’s the right thing to do, but darn it all, he’s going to fail math and he hasn’t even gone to school a full week yet.

Whatcanhedowhatshouldwedowhatistheretodo

Calming down the worries long enough to cast them away is only one step, just a tiny first step.  The real work comes in the waiting, the discipline of reading and meditating and believing over and over that God knows what is right, that he will reveal what should be done in this situation, that he will do what he promises. 

The real work – where we are strengthened – is not in the casting.  It is remembering what he did for us by sacrificing his son on the cross.  That was an unimaginable plan, one that he made before any of us took our first breath.  He made a promise and when he saw the dear child he made, he didn’t take back his promise to allow him to die for all of us, even though we don’t deserve it.

Our job is not to worry about the things on earth that cause us to toss and turn in the wee hours.  It is to ask God to work in our lives, and ask him what our next steps are.  It is to read his word and open our hearts to whatever it is he wants to reveal to us.  It is to trust that he knows our troubles and exactly what we are to do about them.

God never fails; he always knows just what we need to do in every situation.  After casting our worries away, our work starts.  It always brings us closer to him.

Dear God, Today is a hard day.  Thank you for reminding me that no difficulty is bigger than you.  Please help me to navigate this day.  Thank you.  Amen.

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Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

6 comments:

  1. I cast out my worries A LOT. There is just so much in this world that we cannot control. Really most of the things actually. Good thing He knows that. :)

    Lovely words, my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Elaine! I try to cast them. Really. But they always seem to float back until I realize that I'm just going through the motions. He also knows when we are serious about letting him take over.

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  2. He is faithful. I love hearing this reminder.

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  3. This is probably one of the HARDEST things for me. Not only am I a natural worry-wart, I also have two anxiety disorders. Which generally means, if I can cast it and stop it before it hits the anxiety-disorder stage, I'm good, but if I can't, I'm generally screwed.

    It's a long process for me. It's taken years and years of focus and learning. Some things still escape me. Some things don't. It completely seems to depend. Last Christmas, I found out there was a chance I was a victim of fraud. Someone had managed to hack my email, and was sending emails to my banker requesting they transfer them money right away for an emergency. Although my initial reaction was sheer panic, I prayed, gave it to God and that was that. I didn't worry because I knew worrying wouldn't help. There was nothing I could to do change anything if I was a victim of fraud, and I would just have to deal with it.

    Other times, like this past week, it doesn't matter how much I pray and cast it onto God and trust him, I'm still stuck struggling and fearful. For example - hubs and I decided to buy a new car this week. We hadn't planned on doing it this soon. Although we were working on budgeting and preparing for it about 8 months from now, things fell into place. It was totally a God thing with him opening doors. But because it was unexpected, it didn't matter how much I trusted or knew we were okay, my anxiety ruled me.

    Learning to trust in God despite my anxiety being in high gear has been the biggest thing though. Even though my brain and my body are telling me ALL HELL IS BREAKING LOOSE PANIC EVERYTHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN, I know in my heart that God is in control and all works out according to His will. It's been one of those things where I've learned to ride the tide of that anxiety, trusting that everything is going to be okay even though my body has been screaming that it isn't.

    For me, the next big step now is my PTSD. Getting this new vehicle has triggered my PTSD regarding car accidents (I've been in two very, very brutal accidents, both of which I should not have walked away from). Even though the panic sets in that somehow, because I have a new vehicle something is going to happen, I have to trust that God is going to keep us safe, that he's going to protect me. I have to put those flashes of terror out of my mind and believe that I am a cautious driver and that everything will be okay.

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    1. It sounds like anxiety maintenance is your biggest area of growth, Tabitha. And that you have been successful using your faith to defeat it. I'm really glad that you are able to trust God at times of weakness, because so many of us haven't pinpointed the area of our lives where we need God's help the most. xoxo

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