As I showered, I began to sing an old Peter, Paul and Mary song. Some of you older folks out there will recognize this folk music trio (“Puff the Magic Dragon?”) The refrain of this song (writers, Farina/Marden) goes like this:
Well, if somehow you could pack up your sorrows,
And give them all to me. You would lose them,
I know how to use them, Give them all to me.
Well, the Lord knows that I have had my share of sorrows the past two years. Certainly I wish I could pack them up and give them away. This reminds me of the Scripture where at 1 Peter 5:7, which speaks of:
…casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.
This verse has always conjured up a picture of me moving that monkey of trouble off my back and right onto Jesus’ shoulders, whereupon He would walk off, carrying my sorrow, and I would walk off with no worries!
Now, I don’t know about you, but my experience with what that verse says has been very frustrating, and what I have found is: First, I don’t have a clue about how to cast cares on Jesus. Are there instructions somewhere? And, second, when I have tried (oh, yes, I have tried), it just hasn’t worked. I still had my troubles after the effort. I might feel better about life, in general, having my heart lightened as it always is after an exchange with God, but those pesky troubles were still there, and, doggone it! I wanted them gone—carried off by Jesus so I no longer had to contend with them.
Well, this morning, as I began to sing this refrain in the shower, what I began to think is that God was showing me something about casting cares. “You would lose them…” You bet I would! I would let You take that monkey off my back! But then, “I know how to use them, give them all to Me.”
I’m thinking that I have the picture wrong. He’s not going to relieve me of my circumstances but what He is going to do is “use them,” for me. I began to think of what the Bible teaches about trouble. We are even told to rejoice (!) in suffering (I’m not there yet)
Not only so, but we also rejoince in our sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverence...Romans 5:3
So, on reflection I believe what God is saying is not that He is going to relieve us of our worldly troubles. He just wants us to know that He knows how to use them—to shape us, to help others. When we cast our cares on Him, we are really just stepping back and letting him achieve through our travail.
Of course, I’m blind, so who knows…I don’t like the suffering, that’s for sure. What I do like, however, is believing that it is accomplishing something in the hands of someone who cares a great deal for me. – Sheep C 12/12/08 PS - I know "troubadour" is misspelled, but it's there, and I'm not going to redraw...!