Monday, October 6, 2014
1 Corinthians 15:57
Learning to use the CAST principle
A wicket keeper is the ‘catcher’ of the team. Jesus is well able to catch every anxiety situation we cast, or throw to Him – and this is what He commands us to do.
THOSE who have been serving in the armed services often miss the service life environment despite its demands. My father found retirement to civilian life deeply frustrating. My brother-in-law misses shipboard life after a week or two on shore. There is an “in it together” ethos that goes with being in uniform. There are demands and challenges and dangers – but there is also the security of leadership. Someone responsible for your safety. Someone to throw to.
The life we lead, under the lordship of Jesus, has these qualities, and more. We are under authority, so we have authority. We are disciples, and so we know how to be disciplined. We are armed and empowered and directed. When we do as we have been trained to do, we know we are effective.
The independent life is unpredictable, unreasonable – and stressful. Just thinking about it can make us fearful. No place to go, no one to catch the throw, no let up from the blow by blow. But we, as those in covenant with God our Father through Jesus, have the “under authority” option. The Bible calls it victory and also rest.
It means that on every occasion when we say “I can’t handle this”, there is Someone who immediately calls back, “Just throw it to me”. This is casting our anxiety on the Lord because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) and it is how we take hold of His victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). This moves us from where we were – feeling stressed – to what is like entering another room, which the Bible calls “rest”. It is not passive or denying or hiding or avoiding. Rest regards the most intractable difficulty from heaven’s perspective, the way Jesus sees it, with His feet on the neck of the one causing it. Rest empowers us from that higher perspective.
It is a simple four-step process. It can be done with a few moments’ prayerful reflection, with a bit of practice, in any environment. This is beyond being “hearers of the word only” as James’ letter puts it, to being doers of it – and that’s where the faith and the power is.
The mnemonic is CAST, as in the “casting our anxiety” of 1 Peter 5:7. Jesus is ready to catch what we cast, or throw, to Him.
C. He says “Come” (Matt. 11:28-30). The burden, when shared with Him, is light. There is rest in that right away!
A. He says “Ask” (Jer. 6:15-17). There is what the Bible calls “the good way” and there are all the other ways – or sometimes, no apparent way. Jesus is lord of the good way, which He reveals to us as we ask Him.
S. He says “Submit” (Proverbs 19:23). The Old Testament term expressed in our Bibles as “fear of the Lord” means a willing and joyful submission, coming gladly under His authority and covering. Of course there is rest in that, and particularly protection from harm – which is where independence suddenly becomes much less attractive.
T. He says “Turn” (Isaiah 30:15). This speaks of returning, or repentance – see it as re-alignment with His will. This is a ‘course correction’ of life – like an aircraft, we may have our flight plan mapped out, but every air traffic control region will order course adjustments to keep within safe lanes.
CAST it! Don’t press on grimly. Step back, if only for a few moments, come to Jesus, ask Him where the good way is, submit in the way of praising Him for His solution and covering, and turn, acting on any course correction ordered. And so, very simply, anxiety is cast, Jesus catches it – and gives us rest in return.