Cast your cares

The Fury of Flat Pack Furniture

Gavin Rodgers | Fri, 1st Feb 2019

A lot of you will know that we moved house just before Christmas. This was, of course, as stressful as you would expect, and it brought with it the very common dilemma faced by most people who move house…Flat Pack Furniture.

Nothing quite tests your patience like trying to build flat pack furniture, especially when you have to wait until your child is asleep to build it as quietly as possible on an evening. Unlike most people when it comes to flat pack furniture, I do follow the instructions carefully but I still find it impossible to get these things built quickly and easily. Wrong parts will be getting screwed together, parts won’t fit where they should, bits break off etc. My problem is that I refuse to ask for help. I will struggle on for hours trying to build the furniture without simply asking my wife, or anyone else for that matter, for assistance with the issue.

This, of course, leads to stress, anger, sometimes tears and normally hours of my time taken up. Reflecting on my flatpack ordeal, really got me thinking about my relationship with God as sometimes I can take the same attitude with him. Instead of giving situations, worries or problems to God I will often try and handle these on my own, refusing to ask for help, just like with the furniture.

The result of trying to handle difficult situations on our own can be a build-up of worry, anxiety and stress which can leave us feeling ground-down and generally tired. Has anyone ever felt like that?

Jesus gives us the perfect antidote for this in Matthew 11: 28-30.

‘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’m gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’.

This is a very famous verse which can help us deal with feeling worn out and tired. Jesus tells us to come to him and find rest - the exact opposite of trying to strive on our own. That can sometimes be a difficult thing to do as our natural instinct is often to keep pushing on, in the hope of trying to get through situations in our own strength (I won’t let this defeat me). 

It’s important to recognise that this call by Jesus is something intimate - it is him offering us rest unlike any other rest we can know. Now, this invitation from Jesus is the perfect remedy for feeling tired and burdened from trying to handle situations on our own but there is another invitation in the Bible which can help us to avoid getting to that point. It is found in 1 Peter 5:7 and it says;

‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’ (NIV) I also like what it says in the New Living Translation (NLT) ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares for you’.

That is a huge statement; that is an open invitation which says that we don’t need to worry, we don’t need to have anxiety about difficult situations because we can give these to God.  How encouraging is that? He is big enough to take our cares so that we don’t have to feel alone during tough times. 

I heard this articulated amazingly in a song recently. Christian rapper, Guvna B, lost his father recently and ended up writing a song addressing some of the sadness, worries and grief he felt. The verse and chorus of this song speak perfectly about what the verse in 1 Peter says; 

[Chorus]
Cast Your Cares
On His Shoulders
Oh cast your cares
On His Love
Cast Your Cares
On His Shoulders
Oh cast your cares
On His Love

[Verse 1]
In my weakness, In my trouble
He won’t let go
If I lose my way, Lord I pray
Lead me home
In the darkness, when it’s hardest
You are my hope
In my highs and lows

In your weakness and trouble, you can go to God to find your hope, strength and peace. That is certainly much more effective than trying to handle situations on your own like me with the flat pack furniture!

I have two challenges for us this month, the first of which is to do exactly what the verse in 1 Peter says and give all your worries and cares to God. Take a moment right now and give God that situation that is on your mind, that person you are praying for, that health issue or that relationship. Bring it before God because he can handle it, he can take it and you can find comfort in that.

My second challenge is for those people who are feeling weary and burdened at the moment.  Maybe this is from months or even years of dealing with difficulties. Why don’t you come to Jesus and find rest? Take some time out today to pray and just relax in God’s presence, listen to some worship music, get your Bible out and just enjoy some time with your father. By doing that you can find genuine rest, you don’t need to go on feeling burdened and tired when true rest is made available to you.

If we really are to be God’s army ready for our mission to reach Teesside then we need to be at our best, not burdened or weary. Why not cast your cares on God today?

More from this series:

Elders Letters
The Tip of the Spear
Culture and Values
3rd Oct 2019
Raj Saha
Elders Letters
His Tender Mercy
An Invitation to Springtime
Luke 1: 78-79
4th Sep 2019
Soroush Sadeghzadeh
Elders Letters
Faith in an Insta-world
Apprenticeship with Jesus
1st Aug 2019
Simon Rogalski
Elders Letters
Take your chance!
Making the most of every opportunity
3rd Jul 2019

I couldn’t possibly write an Elders’ letter this month without at least making reference to that amazing night in Madrid on June 1st and Liverpool FC’s historic sixth Champions League trophy. Non-football fans…please don’t switch off! 

Gavin Rodgers