This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a women’s retreat in Cascade, ID with other ladies from my church. This retreat is one of my annual highlights—giving me an opportunity to unplug from work, relax in the mountains, spend time with great friends, and listen to faithful women teach me more about the God I love.

This year, our speaker’s topic was “Fear, Worry, & Anxiety.” Although I learned a great deal, the concept that impressed on me most was that of casting our burdens on the Lord. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” I have heard this verse many times before, but some new imagery helped refresh the richness of this promise.

 

Imagine you are hiking with a heavy pack. You’re tired and can’t even enjoy the scenery as your focus is drawn to every labored step. Then, your father comes along side you and says, “Why don’t you give that backpack to me, and I’ll carry it to our destination for you?” Although your pride may keep you from giving up the backpack right away—determined to carry it yourself—you can see your dad is eager, willing, and able to help. So, you finally relent and cast your backpack onto his strong shoulders. Instantly, there is relief. You feel a cool breeze on your back—now liberated from the sweaty, thick material of the pack. You feel lighter, as though you could practically bound up the hill. Instead of having to focus on each difficult step, you are free to turn your gaze to the beautiful scenery surrounding you on the ascent.

 

But, that’s not all. Although the freedom from the pack feels wonderful, there is something that makes it even sweeter. Your pack isn’t just off your back lying in the dust while you walk up the mountain. Instead, the pack is being carried for you. It’s being handled by someone else, who is far stronger than you, who loves you, who cares for you, and who can be trusted to get you and your pack safely to your destination.

 

Doesn’t that sound amazing? Then, why am I always so slow to do it? Why do I insist on carrying my heavy load of anxiety when my good, strong Father is willing and able to not only take it from me but also to take care of it? “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). May we remember this the next time we are weighed down with burdens and anxieties. And, may we eagerly cast them on our Savior, for He is most eager, willing, and able to care for and sustain us. 

By Katie Miller

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