I normally don’t post much personal information on here other than what you can glean from the about page. My goal from the beginning of this website has been that it be a resource for people. However, I’m going to stray some from that today.
This week has been a difficult week in ministry. A major tragedy effected the church that I serve. A young person, just 16, died in an automobile accident. This meant that a family lost a son, girlfriend lost a boyfriend, classmates lost a classmate, friends lost a friend, teammates lost a teammate, and the family of God here lost someone they loved.
This week has been difficult not just because of the hurt I have for losing someone I know, and at such a young age, but also because of the hurt I see around me. I hate it when those whom I love are in pain. I hate to see those whom I care about mourning. I have wept with those who weep this week.
I am a person who likes to fix situations. If two people are arguing, then I want to help them work out their problems. If someone has a question, then I want to help them find an answer. If there is a Bible teaching that people find difficult, then I want to help explain it to them. However, in a case like this week (and in similar cases of tragedy) there are so many thing that can’t be fixed or explained.
I wish I could quickly give answers to “why?” I have worked the big questions of why suffering exists. I have at my disposal arguments to explain it, but the truth is even those arguments don’t answer all the questions.
I wish I could know exactly what to say to make the hurt go away. The perfect line or well-placed verse that would result in them no longer feeling the pain that they feel. Again those words allude me, because they do not exist. What I say does not change the facts of the situation.
Finally, I wish I knew how to best comfort. What is the best way to help this person cope? I have studied ways to be a comforter. I have plenty of tools in my tool bag, but the truth is everyone grieves differently and so everyone is comforted differently. On top of this is the fact that grieving is not fixed in one conversation or a week of talking, but rather it takes time.
All of these questions led me to do something that I am not proud of. It led me to attempt to carry a burden alone. I stopped praying like I should. I stopped casting cares upon God. I wanted to fix the situation by my own power and ability. Now I had prayed for others. I had prayed almost constantly for everyone involved that God comfort them, but for some reason I refused to pray that God aid me as a griever and comforter.
Yesterday while writing on 1 Peter I came across that familiar passage, “cast your care upon God because he cares for you.” The passage made me stop and think: Why am I not doing this? Why am I not casting my cares upon God? I knew immediately it wasn’t because I didn’t believe God cared for me. I knew God cared for me. So there had to be another reason.
The other reason is also found in the text. In the text “casting your cares upon God” is done by a humble person. It is the prideful who refuse to see their need for God and to cast their burdens upon Him. I had fallen into pride and temptation. I had fallen into the belief that I could handle this situation without God’s help. The truth is I couldn’t and no one can.
The reason we cast our cares upon God is because we recognize that we cannot carry these burdens alone. In times of grief or in times when we do not have all the answers it can be easy to forgo prayer that God take your burden.
If you are grieving now or you are helping someone who is grieving then I ask you to not make the mistake I made and believe that you can handle the situation by your own power. I ask you rather to “cast your cares upon God for he cares for you.”