Are You Casting Your Anxiety on Jesus or Carrying it Alone?
I think you will agree that anxiety is at an all-time high today. Because we are frail humans, anxiety and fear come naturally to us. To make matters worse, anxiety is contagious. We tend to take on the emotions and attitudes of those around us. Our anxieties can become a virus we inflict on those we love.
The Greek word for cast is only used twice in the New Testament. However, the other passage where this verse is used gives excellent insight into the word's meaning.
"They brought the donkey to Jesus and cast their garments on it …" Luke 19:35
Do not miss the precise meaning of the word "cast." Cast means to take the weight off your shoulders and place it on someone else. Badda beam. Badda boom. Pass the biscuits. I can carry my anxieties, or I can cast them on Jesus.
One more verse. This time Jesus makes the invitation obvious.
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Again – do not miss this. The "yoke" referred to here is a double ox yoke made of thick wood. This double ox yoke was commonly used in Jesus' day. Double yokes were used by farmers for a specific purpose - to teach a young farm animal to carry a burden without being overwhelmed. The young farm animal was placed in the yoke along with an older, more robust farm animal. The older, stronger farm animal would carry the biggest part of the burden while the younger animal learned.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30
There is still a yoke, a burden, and work to do, but it is easier and lighter because you have cast your burden on Jesus, who is carrying the load with you. Practically how do we do that? How do you cast your burden on Jesus? Back to our first verse.
"Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
Here is where the rubber meets the road. How do you practically make the anxiety transfer from your back to God's back? Trust that he cares for you. Believe this promise. Trust him. It's a matter of practical trust. That promise does not hang in the air. It is connected to a command and was meant to show us how to obey that command.
The command is to cast your anxiety on God. The promise is that God cares for you. Jesus cares about the thing that is the source of your anxiety. Jesus cares about the thing that is worrying you. Jesus wants you to trust Him. Jesus wants you to quit carrying your burden alone. Jesus wants you to cast your care on Him.
There is another choice we have when carrying our anxieties and worries. We can share our burdens with Jesus, which He commands and invites us to do. We can share our burdens with others which Jesus also commands and invites us to do. So now we have two options. We should do both - share them with Jesus and with others.
Check out Galatians 6:2.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
We absolutely can invite Jesus into this double yoke to share our burdens. We can also ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to share our burdens - people who love us enough to share our burdens, worries, and anxiety. But we tend to be stubborn people still in the terrible three's mode of thinking. What do three years old say all the time? "I do it myself."
"I do it myself" thinking will crush you when it comes to anxiety and worry.
We were not created to do the tough stretches of life alone. Instead, God created us to reach out to Him when life is hard.
We need God. We need each other.
What are you anxious about today? What are you worried about? What are you carrying alone?
We have two choices when we are experiencing worry and anxiety. We can carry it alone or cast it on Jesus and share it.
Toddlers carry all their anxiety alone and try to do it themselves. Mature Christ followers share the burden. Cast your burden on Jesus. Share your burden with others. And get ready for your load to lighten.
Mary Southerland is also the Co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotion ministry for women. Mary’s books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, 10-Day Trust Adventure, You Make Me So Angry, How to Study the Bible, Fit for Life, Joy for the Journey, and Life Is So Daily. Mary relishes her ministry as a wife, a mother to their two children, Jered and Danna, and Mimi to her six grandchildren – Jaydan, Lelia, Justus, Hudson, Mo, and Nori.