Learning to Cast

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

My fishing experience is limited to the times I accompanied my parents to a lake in central Michigan. Leaving a simple rented cabin each morning, we rowed a small boat to the center of the lake where we baited our hooks and quite gently tossed our lines into the water. Admittedly, I spent more time reading a book than fishing, but my memory is that of lazy days in the sun and delicious suppers of the catch of the day.

Fly fisherman—who cast their lines into streams or lakes go about their sport in a different way. In fact, one man described fly fishing as “an incredible art form, a skill beyond any other form of fishing…” Another writes “Learning proper casting form…is essential to the ability to catch fish and (can be)…very enjoyable.”

The word “cast” as used by Peter and recalled in Psalm 55:22, is crucial to our understanding of what it means to live free from anxiety. Peter uses the word in a tense that means a “one-point-in-time action, although it may actually take place over a period of time.” It is the latter part of the definition that brings relief to me. How often have I “cast” a burden only to realize hours (or minutes!) later that I have retrieved my burden as though it were something too precious to give . Was God perhaps unwilling or unable to bear my burden?

A fly fisherman develops his skill by repeatedly moving out into the stream, wise to the currents but unafraid. He knows that it may take many casts to find the hidden places where fish gather. He has practiced the “art form.” Casting my anxiety on God will take practice. Instead of discouragement when we find ourselves worrying about the same thing we have given over to God, we simply do it again knowing that our wise and gracious Father understands that we are novices. Gradually we learn to trust the care He offers.

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