We all have perhaps a picture in our minds of a fisherman, standing in a boat, on the shore, or in shallow water, casting his net. The action of that fisherman is very interesting to analyze. He takes a firm grim on his net, swings it behind him, and then, at the right time, releases it entirely, as it flies from his hands. The christian is one that is called to “cast.” There are several uses of this verb to express different objectives. The first would be the “casting of bread upon many waters.” It speaks of an act of faith, in the spreading of the truth, trusting that many “fish” will be caught, many souls coming to Christ. The second is the “… casting pearls before swine.” It is possible to cast that which is most precious to that which will not only reject it, but will trample it into the mud. It is a waste. The third use of this verb “to cast,” has to do with burdens and weights. Peter writes to the “strangers (sojourners)” scattered throughout the then known world: “…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.” (1 Peter 5:6-7) If ever there was a need of understanding how “weightless,” and unburdened we should be as Christ’s disciples, it is found in these two verses. Essential to this experience is an understanding and practice of “casting.”
First, we need to understand that Christ came to remove the yoke of imposed burdens upon us, and this, by the world, sin, and Satan. “Come unto Me, ALL ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) The weights of guilt, condemnation, wrong doing and errors (which all have repercussions in this world…), are very heavy. Beyond this, the weight of “concern and care” can be such a weight as to crush the sensitive spirit. The preoccupation with basic needs, and the dominance of the “thought of tomorrow,” can weigh the soul down to the point that there is hardly any following of Christ. One can be so preoccupied with need, within and without, that there is no liberty to run the race.
Peter’s admonition is an imperative declaration. We are to “cast,” (take a firm grip upon the burdens, and throw them, releasing them…) ALL care upon Him; FOR HE CARETH FOR YOU.” (V.7) A sheep is not built to bear burdens (we are Christ’s sheep)…it is not a burden bearer. The cares of this life are to be cast upon the Lord, believing Him to take them entirely. Why? Because He IS our burden bearer. Our “light burden” is to follow Him…the gracious Shepherd.
It was Hudson Taylor who penned the following words of the Lord to his own heart: “Bear not a single burden, ONE is too much for thee. The work is Mine and Mine alone, thy work to REST in Me.” O that we would learn the discipline of casting ALL care upon Him, that we might run this race, and serve Christ with freedom of spirit, and joy.