By Lisa Huddleston
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.” (2 Peter 5:6-7)
What a morning! I have felt as though I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. My youngest son has his first test in his College Algebra class. Two of my closest friends are dealing with very serious health concerns. And I said good bye to my baby girl as she headed off to Italy all by herself. Okay, she’s not really a baby. She’s nineteen years old. And she isn’t really alone. She’s with the choir from Cumberland University. But she is going to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean without her father or me, and she couldn’t even take her cell phone! These and other worries have weighed me down today. And despite my desire to be there for every one of those about whom I care so deeply, I can only be in one place at a time. And even if I could be right beside my son as he works his math problems, I probably wouldn’t be much help. And I can’t make my friends’ medical issues suddenly disappear no matter how hard I may wish to. And I couldn’t make my daughter’s plane stay in the air or keep terrorists at bay or protect her from every possible danger even if I tagged along on every trip she takes for the rest of her life. Like it or not—and at this point in time, it’s a big, fat NOT—I have no real choice but to place those I love and the concerns I am carrying into the hands of the One who is really in charge of all things.
Even as I write the words, I wonder how in the world I’m really supposed to do that. How does “placing those I love and the concerns I am carrying” into God’s hands translate into practical, hands-off, day-to-day living? My first thought is to cast all my cares on Him (2 Peter 5: 7). But when I read the verses preceding that admonition, I discover that “God resists the proud, but give grace to the humble” (2 Peter 5:5). I must admit that it is arrogance for me to feel as though I can take the place of God in the lives of my family and friends. Who am I to think that my presence should keep them safe or that it is somehow within my wisdom to know the best outcome for each of their struggles? Oh yeah—that’s pride. Therefore, my first step needs to be to “Humble [myself] therefore under the mighty hand of God” (2 Peter 5:6a). As Jesus modeled in his prayer, I need to say “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
That leaves “care casting” as step number two. As the eldest of three daughters, I grew up as my father’s only son meaning that I spent a lot of time learning to fish and practicing my casting in the front yard. I can still hear the zip of my Zebco reel as my line flew across the grass and eventually the lake only to be quickly wound back to my rod. But, this kind of casting is different. In casting my cares on Him, I need to learn to cut the line and let them go. Not the yo yo cycle of casting out and reeling in, but a once and for all throwing off of the burdens over which I humbly admit to having no control.
Finally, after humbling myself and releasing my cares, I need to trust in the One who holds all things in His hands. And I can trust Him, because “He cares about [me.]” Amazing really. The One who made all things, who holds all things together, and who works all things together for good cares about me. And He cares about my son’s test, my friends’ health, and my daughter’s safety. No, that doesn’t mean that my musical son will get an A in math, that my friends will be healed, and that my sweet daughter will always be safe. But it does mean that He loves them and holds each one of them close as they make their own ways around this planet without my holding their hands. Hard to believe at times, but true.
Humility, submission, and trust—three steps to take today when my burdens feel so heavy and every day that follows. No matter what happens, He really does have the whole world in His loving and trustworthy hands: myself, my family, my friends, and all who live on this planet. “To Him be the dominion forever. Amen” (2 Peter 5:11).