“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over very carefully.” 1 Peter 5:6-7, AMP (emphasis mine).
A children’s activity that seems to have stood the test of time is one I really enjoyed playing growing up. In fact, my grandchildren also had one of these toys and maybe you did too. Unlike many of the 21st century toys, this timeless gadget required no batteries, no plugs or cords, and no electricity. Simple by design, it consisted of three parts, a small paddle, a one inch in diameter rubber ball, and a long thin elastic band. The elastic band was stapled to the wooden paddle and extended about three feet where it attached to the ball. The idea was to hit the ball with the paddle, then repeatedly hit it when the elastic brought the ball back. I loved practicing that skill.
Like the game of retrieving the ball to the paddle, I find many of us have practiced and perfected the same “skill” when giving our concerns to God. Anxiety in every form, be it worry, fear from the past, fear of the present, or fear for the future is like the ball; we “cast all [our] cares on Him…” only to retrieve them, time after time.
In the new year, 2024, when it comes to giving our cares and concerns to God, I invite you to join me in practicing the skill of another game called baseball. The “game” goes something like this: when Satan pitches the ball (every anxiety and concern) and it comes hurling toward you, swing the bat as hard as you can (speak God’s Word of truth), striking the ball firmly, then watch as it disappears into the clouds, where our compassionate and awesome heavenly Father catches every word. His love will sustain us until He brings us “home.”
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NKJV).