“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Years ago I taught a poetry elective to some high school students. One of the things that I had them do was memorize some famous lines of poetry, but instead of leaving the line as a stand alone, memorize the surrounding verses. It often adds quite a bit of understanding to the whole thing. Surprise surprise, most often these things have context, and the context adds something rather valuable.
This verse about bringing our cares before God is exactly one of these sorts of events. Let’s look at just the line before it –
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
And just one half verse before that: ” for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
So today I am at the grocery store. Just for a couple things, which is good, because I only have a couple of minutes. I am mostly behind on my life by about a day and a half. In some places more, but I am ignoring those. My back hurts, which happens whenever I haven’t had time to go to the gym. I am stupid tired, which could have been avoided by not staying up stupid late. But nothing is really wrong. I love my job of being a mom, love my kids, love my husband, and yet here I am fussing it up in my head. Not because there is anything objectively wrong, but because that is what I feel like doing.
If afflictions were a soda fountain, I have made the ill-judged “suicide” of my youth. Just a squirt of tired, with a squirt of busy, with a squirt of behind, with a squirt of sugar-free attitude. And what I want is to feel bad about the nasty drink that I have before me. Root beer doesn’t blend well with raspberry iced tea. It just doesn’t.
Now because my husband is wise and also loving, with a side of excellent timing, he chose to text me a verse and tell me to pray for grace. So here I am, standing in the Band-Aid aisle trying to sort out why I so badly don’t want to. I want to shrug it off and say it wasn’t a big deal. I want to have a solution all by myself. What I want is to find a garnish for this wretched drink I have made that will make it all somehow palatable. What I apparently don’t want is to tell God that my drink is bad and ask him to fix it. I was over there at the soda fountain pumping it into my cup with enthusiasm, and I don’t want to admit that what I have whizzed up is not tasty.
So I had a laugh at myself amongst the Band- Aids and prayed about it. Because being tired isn’t a sin, but being ugly is. Being behind isn’t a sin, but being annoyed by it is. Being busy isn’t a sin, but being self absorbed is.
The thing that really struck me is that I didn’t want to ask God to take it away. I did not want the grace that He has promised to provide us. I wanted to just handle it myself – maybe with a coffee, or with lunch. Maybe with getting on top of the next thing I have to do, by blowing it out all by myself. And yet. God resists the proud.
But the humble, the humble will get His grace. So I came home and looked up this verse. And I laughed again, because Grace is joy.
“for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”