No, we’re not talking about your fishing abilities, here. First Peter 5:7 instructs us to cast our cares on our Savior. After all, He cares far more about us and our kids than we ever could. To some extent, this kind of casting takes practice, and everyone has to figure out what helps them. But here are a few hands-on activities that can help you take concrete steps toward casting those cares a little further from your mind.
Start a Worry Box
Especially if you’re a visual or kinesthetic learner, physically writing down your worries and placing them in a box can be a helpful exercise. Pray over them, asking God to handle the situation that’s beyond your control anyway. He already knows that you’ve been struggling, but tell Him anyway. He likes to hear us share our hearts. Then tell yourself — and God — that once you “cast” those cares into the box, you’re done thinking about them. If you start to go there again, physically take the paper out of the box, pray over it, and place it back in the box, again, asking God to help you leave it there.
Replace Concerns with Praises
Philippians 3-4 gives us insight into the Apostle Paul’s method of achieving contentment during situations that tempted him to be anxious and discontent, and it started with praising God! Sometimes we can unintentionally pray over our anxieties in a way that allows them to gain even more control over our thoughts. What if, for every difficult situation we brought before the Lord, we found at least three things for which to thank or praise Him?
Instead of cementing the difficulties in our minds, we can write down the good things—the things that fit within the boundaries of Philippians 4:8 — and even make a point to tell others about those things, instead of just our frustrations. We can make them visible, as well, by writing them on a chalk board or posting them on the refrigerator — whatever it takes to keep the positive things at the forefront of our minds.
Get Intense About Good Stuff
So many times, the white space of our minds easily fills up with our anxieties or frustrations because we’re not intensely focusing on something else, something better. Of course, when we’re going through a particularly difficult season, mental discipline can be difficult, no matter what else we’re doing. But when we go beyond merely trying to distract ourselves and actually put our mental and physical energy toward something good like studying God’s Word, starting a service project, or creatively expressing ourselves in worship through music, visual art, or other methods, we’re being intentional about casting our cares and funneling that anxious energy into something that benefits others and glorifies our God. In that, we’re saying that He deserves our worship and service even in the midst of our trial.