Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cast All Your Cares on Jesus


Jesus Christ takes as much personal interest in you as he did in his disciples.


Do you remember the time when Peter felt all knotted up about paying the Roman taxes? He blurted out, “Hey Lord, if we don’t come up with some money, they’ll toss us in jail!”


Jesus told him to go catch a fish.


I’m sure Peter was scratching his head while threading a worm on the hook. But he did as the Master said. Before long, he caught a fish. “Okay,” Peter said, holding the wiggly creature out to Jesus. “Now what?”


”Look in his mouth and pay our taxes with what you find there.”

Can you imagine Peter’s expression? Between the two of them, he was the expert fisherman. He’d caught and cleaned thousands of fish, and never once had loose change appeared in their innards. Despite his doubts, Peter propped open the fish’s mouth and gave the creature a hearty shake. Out popped a coin that exactly covered the taxes.

 

What worked for Peter will work for you. Not the fish part, but going straight to Jesus when you face a baffling dilemma.


Mel, my brother-in-law and lifelong buddy, invited me out for lunch to discuss such a dilemma. “Dan, I’m in a bind. I’ve contracted my summer camp out to a university football team that’ll arrive next Monday. I told the coach a year ago that they could use an acre on the south lot as a practice field. But I hadn’t counted on the spring rains. When I went out yesterday to check on the field, the grass had grown a mile high!”

 


“We could try my lawn mover,” I said.


“The grass is too thick and tall. The engine would burn up.”


“How about renting a tractor?”


“The soil is too moist. It would leave ruts in the field.”


“A scythe?”


“That would take all summer. There’s just no way to get that grass cropped short in time.”


“How about asking Jesus for a creative idea?”


Mel’s eyes narrowed. “Right,” he said, smiling. “Like, ‘Hey God, could you please fix my green acre by next Monday?’”


I smiled back. My suggestion did sound naive. We said goodbye, but the story doesn’t end there.
 
Let’s allow an invisible camera to follow Mel up the winding mountain road to Western Life Camp.He is carrying groceries for the football camp into a cold storage unit, where he finds himself saying a little prayer.“Lord, if you do have an idea for cutting the grass, I’d love to hear about it.”


The food packed away, Mel saunters over to the woodpile to chop some firewood. Axe raised, poised for the first strike, he hears an inner voice that says, “Okay.”


“Okay what?” he thinks to himself.


“Okay, Mel,” says the still small voice. “I have an idea.”


Lowering the axe, he takes a seat on a nearby stump and waits attentively. A minute passes. Then he hears, “Go tell your neighbor Joe that you’ve got an acre of tall grass that needs clearing. Do whatever he tells you.”


Mel feels torn between continuing to cut wood and doing what the voice has instructed. He wonders if Joe will think he’s foolish. But an image of the football coach yelling, “Where’s my field!” spurs him into action.


Mel drives over and finds Joe watering a half-dozen horses at a trough. After a short greeting Mel tells Joe about his dilemma over the acre of grass.

 


Joe says, “Why, that’s no problem. My horses are running low on feed and I don’t have time to go into town for hay. If you’ll let them graze that acre, we’ll all be happy.”


When the football team arrived on Monday, Mel walked the coach over for a look at the field. The coach knelt down and ran his palm over the perfectly manicured grass. “This will do nicely,” he said.

 


It isn’t easy to bring something to God’s attention when you feel like you should solve it yourself. On the other hand, God is a genius at developing creative responses to life’s perplexing crises. Like Peter and Mel, you can increase your resourcefulness by “casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

 



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