HELP HEAVENWARD by
Human Care Transferred
"Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7
"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.
He will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22
Were we to take the world’s estimate of the real
value and happiness of a life of faith in God as the true one, how gloomy,
joyless, and forlorn a life would it appear! The world imagines that there
is nothing substantial, bright, or social in the religion of Christ—no
reality, sunshine, or companionship! But how mistaken! We cite, as
disproving this view, the precept we propose in this chapter to illustrate
and enforce, which enjoins the transfer of human care to God. Where, in the
world’s wilderness, grows the flower of heart’s ease as it blooms and
blossoms here- “Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” How
full of soothing and repose are these words! What cares have they lightened-
what anxieties have they removed; what burdens have they unclasped; and what
springs of joy and comfort and hope have they unsealed in many a sad and
oppressed heart! But do you not, beloved reader, need to be put in constant
remembrance of this divine secret of 'rest amid toil', of 'repose amid
disquietude', of 'soothing amid corroding cares', and of 'confidence and
hope in the midst of change and depression'? Bewildered and oppressed by the
multitude of anxious thoughts within you, is there not a danger of being so
absorbed by the care as to overlook the Caretaker? to forget the heart’s
ease in the overwhelming of the heart’s anxiety? Verily we think so.
Hagar, pining with thirst, and blinded by grief, saw not the well of
water flowing at her side. The disciples in the storm, filled with alarm,
and absorbed by fear, recognized not the Lord Jesus walking to them upon the
waves which threatened the foundering of their vessel. Thus often is it with
us—thus may it be now with you. We look at the need, and not at Him who
supplies it; at the storm, and not at Him who controls it; at the care, and
not at Him who assumes it.
Is not the voice of the Lord mightier than the voice of many waters, yes,
than the mighty waves of the sea? Is not the Caretaker greater than the care
itself? Yet how we limit the Holy One, and magnify and multiply our cares,
anxieties, and sorrows! But for the immutability of our redeeming God, whose
unseen hand guides, and whose power, almost insensible to ourselves,
sustains us, our care would consume us. How often we are upheld, we scarcely
know by whom; kept in peace, we scarcely know how; preserved in safety, we
scarcely know why.
But “the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him;” and, sooner or
later, we learn that Jesus has done it all, and has done it for His own
glory. Sincerely would I, beloved reader, offer you a little help heavenward
by inciting you to this transfer of anxious thought and chafing care to God.
Lightened a little of your burden, with a more trustful heart and gladsome
spirit you will speed your way homeward to that heaven of perfect repose,
upon whose threshold you will leave the last anxious thought, and lay down
the last earthly care, your weary, panting soul pillowed in eternal repose!
The world through which we pass heavenward—and oh, forget not, Christian
pilgrim, it is a passage soon passed—is a world laden and crushed with care.
Earthly care confronts us at every step, and in all whom we meet. The
knitted brow, the restless eye, the compressed lip, the fevered expression,
the bated breath, are as true an index of the mind oppressed with anxious
thought, the heart shaded with human sorrow, as the dial is of the sun’s
It is true the great device of the world is to conceal its care from
others. But its transient gleam of artificial joy—the forced smile, the
excited laugh, the unnatural levity, which imparts an air of happiness and
freedom from eating care—but betray to the keen, penetrating eye of the
spiritual observer that inward restlessness of the spirit, that lowering
anxiety of mind, which can ill be concealed.
“If every man’s internal care
Were written on his brow,
How many would our pity share
Who move our envy now!”
But it is of the care peculiar to the Lord’s people that we particularly
speak. And here we must be cautious to distinguish between the carefulness
that is proper in a child of God and the carefulness which is the result of
a distrust of God— the offspring of unbelief. We are to be careful,
undoubtedly, to maintain good works, or our faith is vain; to take care of
our own house, or we shall be found worse than the infidel; we are to care
for the interests and prosperity of Christ’s Church, or we ignore our
individual membership; we are to be careful to walk holily and
circumspectly, as followers of the Lamb, or we dishonor Christ. Now this
implies a heavy weight of holy care, unslumbering vigilance, and unceasing
prayerfulness on our part. These are cares which especially appertain to,
and are inseparable from, our Christianity.
But let us consider that state of anxious sinful care which so much
weighs down the spirit, so beclouds our spiritual joy, and is so corrosive
of the best, holiest, and finest feelings of the soul, but which a simple,
childlike confidence in our heavenly Father’s promise, care, and love should
chasten and moderate, yes, entirely remove. Hence the precept, “Casting all
your care upon him; for he cares for you.”
We may attempt to classify, but it would be impossible to enumerate, the
cares which contribute so much to the mental anxiety and depression of the
Christian. The cares of this life enter deeply into the anxiety of which the
Lord seeks to lighten us. In proportion to the spiritual tone of the mind,
and the closeness of the heart’s converse with God and heavenly realities,
will be the tenderness of the believer to the chafing and pressure of
temporal cares. The more heavenly we grow, the more acutely sensitive do we
become to the encroachment and influence of earth and earthly things.
In this connection let me remark that I fear too little prayerful
consideration is felt by the Church in behalf of her Christian men of
business. Sustaining responsibilities, burdened with cares, depressed by
anxieties well-near crushing; earnestly desirous, and that very desire
intensifying their feelings, that integrity and uprightness should preserve
them, that by no faltering, no receding, no departure from the strictest
line of Christian consistency should the cause of Christ be dishonored and
their Christian character be compromised; are they sufficiently borne upon
our sympathies and prayers?
Do we, in measure, make their burdens, their dangers, their anxieties our
own? Do we ask for them of God the grace that will keep them in prosperity,
and for the strength and comfort that will sustain and soothe them under the
pressure and perils of anxious care? Does the Church of God sufficiently
sympathize with her Christian merchants? May not the low standard of
commercial morality, which in some departments of trade has obtained in this
and other lands; the sad defection from honesty and uprightness which has
marked the business transactions of some whose names have stood high in the
Church’s roll; the frauds, the defalcations, the nefarious dealings; be
traceable, in a great degree, to the Church’s unfaithfulness in her duty
Verily we think so. Oh, let us pray more for godly men of business! Their
snares are many; their perils are great, their cares are crushing, their
anxieties are absorbing! They demand our Christian sympathy, our tender
forbearance, our unceasing supplications, that, in all the temptations and
intricacies, perils and anxieties, by which their path is begirt, God may
hold them up, and conduct them through; kept from the low arts of trade;
from the questionable practices of the world; from an inordinate anxiety for
wealth; from every the slightest deviation from the straightest and
strictest line of Christian integrity, from the taint and evil of the world,
to the honor of the Church and the glory of their Lord.
Christian brethren, we offer you our sympathy, and breathe on your behalf
our prayers! You may often lay an anxious, aching brow on your pillow at
night, not knowing how you will meet the stern claims of the coming day;
your commercial standing—dearer still, your Christian character—at stake. Be
still! There is ONE who cares for you! Compose yourself to rest, in the calm
assurance that on the morrow God will crown your obedience to the precept by
His fulfillment of the promise—“Casting all your care upon him; for he cares
Thus, then, our temporal cares, to us often so depressing, are objects of
God’s consideration. If godliness has the promise of the life that now is,
it follows that no earthly care that saddens the heart or shades the brow is
beneath His notice or regard. How many a child of God is struggling with
large domestic demands and but slender revenues! Who can tell the troubled,
the anxious feelings; the painful forebodings that pass through that mind!
One only knows it. To Him there is nothing little, nothing insignificant,
nothing beneath His notice and regard!
Are you a widow, with narrowed income and heavy demands? Are you an
orphan, combating with loneliness and need? Are you a man of business,
sustaining heavy liabilities, involved in perilous investments, and weighed
down by ceaseless anxiety and care? Veiled from every eye but God’s may be
your pressure. These worldly engagements, these temporal cares and
anxieties, are not too small for Him!
Then, there often presses upon the heart the anxiety to know the path of
duty in which we should walk. This is no small care to the child of God. We
are often brought to a standstill, and are, as it were, at our wits’ end.
Two paths, intersecting each other, diverging to the right and to the left,
confront us, and we are perplexed to know which one we should take. Oh for a
voice, distinct and familiar, behind us, saying, “This is the way, walk in
In proportion, too, to the tenderness of conscience, and to the closeness
and softness of the walk, will be the intense anxiety of the mind to know,
and do, and even suffer the will of God. If such be the case with you, be
assured that, though your faith and patience may be tried, the Lord will not
leave you long in darkness and uncertainty. If the question be, How shall I
know the will of my heavenly Father in this matter? you shall not in the end
mistake it; for God cares for you.
But there are greater cares than these— the spiritual cares of the soul
—which often press heavily upon the heart. You are anxious to know that you
have an interest in Christ’s redeeming love; that your name is written
among the living in Jerusalem; that your sins are pardoned; that your person
is adopted, accepted, saved; and that after death you will reign with Jesus
You are anxious, too, that your Christian walk should be obedient,
perceptive, believing; that you should be more heavenly minded, growing in
knowledge, and grace, and divine conformity to the will of God and the image
of Jesus. Ah! these are cares before which all others vanish into
insignificance! There are no anxieties, no cares, no burdens like those
which touch the present and future interests and well-being of the soul! How
many a man would freely and joyfully part with all his worldly possessions
for spiritual peace of mind, and for an assured hope of the future! Oh to be
quite sure that we are SAVED! What is rank—what is wealth—what is learning—
what is fame in comparison with this?—the dust, the foam, the dream, the
Anxious soul! Do you think that you nurse that spiritual anxiety alone?
that no eye is wakeful to see, that no ear is bending to listen, that no
heart is interested to sympathize? Ah, yes! He who travailed in sorrow for
your salvation is personally, tenderly cognizant of the anxious, the
profoundly anxious, desire of your soul that there may not rest the shadow
of a shade of doubt and uncertainty upon the fact of its everlasting safety.
You are not alone in this soul exercise. Jesus is with you.
The travel of your heart after him, the panting of your spirit for His
salvation, the longing of your soul for an assured interest in His love;
your tears, your sighs, your desires, your prayers, your watchings; awaken
in the heart of your Savior the deepest, tenderest response. Ah! if the
cares, anxieties, and solicitude you feel for your soul lie upon your heart
with a pressure so intense as to shade the sunshine of life by day, and to
bedew your pillow with tears by night, do you think that He does not yet
more closely entwine your precious and deathless interests around His heart,
who bought you upon the cross, and who wearily trod many a step to seek and
find you in the cloudy and dark day, and who will deck His brow with you as
a sparkling jewel, when He comes having on His head His many crowns!
But upon whom is the believer to place this care? There is no difficulty
in determining. The transfer is at once from the human to the Divine, from
the finite to the Infinite! We have but one true Burden bearer—one Almighty
Caretaker; even Him whom God has made strong for Himself and strong for
us—the Mighty and the Almighty Savior. In the matter of care the Lord would
have us deal immediately and only with Himself.
This is the controversy He has with us— our unwillingness to make the
transfer to Him. Oh, could you be assured that the friend you best loved on
earth could lighten the burden and chase away the care before the evening’s
sun had set, would you not be found breathing your sorrows into his
ear, and reposing your anxieties upon his heart? But to go to God— to pass
by the human, and deal only with the Divine— to repair to the arm that
was transfixed, and to the bosom that bled upon the cross, and repose your
burden upon its power and love, oh, how difficult! -just because it is faith
dealing with the Invisible.
And yet, no task so easy, or, in its issue, more blessed— just
because it is faith dealing with the Mighty One. But God, guardful of His
honor, will not yield this controversy, and, jealous of His love, will not
abate one iota of His claim. To Him the transfer must be made. Behold the
key that unlocks the mystery of His dealings! Why has He smitten, as with
paralysis, that arm upon which you leaned? Why has He chilled, as with
death, that bosom on which you reclined? Why has He exhausted, as by a
burning drought, that cool spring, whose tide you quaffed? Why has He
beclouded those sunny slopes, upheaved those verdant banks, which gave to
the landscape of your life an aspect so picturesque, and to life itself a
repose and a charm so exquisite?
Oh, but only to win, and woo, and draw you more closely beneath His own
outstretched arm, and within His own sheltering bosom! He and He alone will
share, and by sharing will soothe and exhaust, your care. Christ loves you
too well, has bought you with a price too dear, has entwined you with
interests too costly and precious, and has prepared for you a heaven and a
destiny too glorious and lasting, to admit a rival, or unite with a partner
in this office of Caretaker of the Church.
Oh, thank Him for clearing the path by removing, so kindly and so gently,
the object that intercepted your approach to Him, so that no angel, no
saint, no minister, no church, no friend, should come between Christ and
you, veiling Him for an instant, or in the slightest degree, from your eye.
But you will ask, How is this transfer of care to be made? In the
directions which we suggest we would give prominence to the exercise of
unquestioning faith. Here there must be a taking God at His word. Our
warrant for an act apparently so impossible and presumptuous as the
transferring of every thought of anxiety, and feeling of sadness, and
pressure of need, to the Great Jehovah must be as divine and unquestionable
as the act itself. That warrant is God’s revealed, infallible, unalterable
word— “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you.”
Your faith must credit, receive, trust in, and act upon this word without
demur or condition, immediately and unreservedly, because it is the word of
the living God! You must believe that God’s power is able, and that His love
is willing, and that His grace is sufficient to assume the transfer; that
Christ, who has borne the heavier pressure of your curse, and your sins, and
your very hell, is prepared to sustain, succor, and comfort you, removing
your burden of care by absorbing it in Himself.
O wondrous act! O precious life of faith! How happy to us! How glorifying
to God! Beloved, can you not, will you not, believe that Jesus at this
moment stands prepared to make all your care His own? that He means what He
says when He invites you, the weary and the heavy-laden, to Himself for
rest? Do you think that He is taunting your sorrow, sporting with your care,
trifling with your feelings, mocking your confidence, and asking you to
believe, only that He might betray; to trust, only to deceive?
Oh no! This is not the Christ of the Bible. Did He ever deal thus with a
poor sinner! Was it ever known that He invited to His feet an anxious, care
depressed, burdened soul but to spurn that soul from His presence? Never!
Oh, He is too true, too loving, too gentle, too kind, too faithful a Savior
for that! Will you, then, wound Him with your doubts, dishonor Him by your
unbelief, and force from under you, buffeting, as you are, amid the waves,
this divine, sustaining plank— faith in the word and promise of the only
true and living God?
Not less potent is prayer as a means of transferring care to God. God
often sends the care to rouse us to call upon Him. We need an errand, and He
sends a trial; we need an impulse, and He sends a sorrow; we need
earnestness and importunity, and He sends the heavy and the continuous
stroke— all His waves breaking over us. Prayer is the safety valve of the
soul. The heart would break, the spirit would sink, despair would fold its
dark shroud around us, but for the privilege of access to God through
Christ. Many a burdened believer has exclaimed, “Why sit I here nursing in
lonely grief my sorrow? I will arise and give myself to prayer.” And the
moment he has formed the resolution, before he has presented or even framed
his petition, unutterable relief has come. “When my heart is overwhelmed,
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
What, then, is your sorrow? Is it sin? Arise, and in prayer pour out your
confession to Christ, and cast this burden on the Sinbearer. Is it
temptation? Disclose it to Him who was once tempted too, and by the same
Tempter, and who thus, from experience of what they feel, knows how to
succor those who are tempted.
Is it need? Betake yourself to the throne of grace, and let your requests
he made known unto God, and in quick and ample response He will supply all
your need. Oh, try the experiment of prayer! All others may have failed you—
try yet this one! Spread your care before the Lord. His providence and grace
stand pledged to meet your every necessity.
“Have you a care, whose presence dread
Expels sweet slumbers from your bed?
To your Redeemer take that care,
And turn anxiety to prayer.
Have you a wish, with which your heart
Would feel it almost death to part?
Entreat your God that wish to crown,
Or give you strength to lay it down.
Have you a friend, whose image dear
May prove an idol worshiped here?
Implore your God that nothing may be
A shadow between heaven and thee.
Whatever the wish that breaks your rest,
Whatever the care that swells your breast,
Spread before God that wish, that care,
And turn anxiety to prayer.”
“He cares for you.” Such is the encouragement to a compliance with His
holy precept. The care of God extends over all. “You open your hand, and
supply the needs of every living thing.” “You give them their food in due
season.” Oh, what a God is our God! But if such is God’s goodness to His
enemies; for He makes His sun to shine on the evil and the good; what
must be His goodness to His children! If he has regard to the raven, and
feeds it when it cries, will He, do you think, be indifferent to the
plaintive note of His “dove, His undefiled one?”
It is an especial care with which God cares for you. He cares for
your temporal interests— not one worldly anxiety, not one need of the life,
is too insignificant for His regard. He cares for your spiritual interests—
for your soul’s prosperity, for your mental peace, for your joy of heart,
for your growth in grace, for your character, your reputation, your
It is personal care. He cares for you. He cares for your individual
cares, for your personal interests, never for an instant merging and
forgetting your individual claims upon His interest, protection, and love in
the great body of His Church. What encouragement this to betake yourself to
the Lord, transferring all care from your heart to His!
Let me conclude this chapter with one or two cautionary observations. Do
not anticipate care! This is to exceed the limit, which God has prescribed.
With the future you have no concern, as you have no knowledge. A covenant
God has, from eternity, provided for that future. It is all in the
everlasting covenant of grace, and will unfold and assume just that form and
complexion which your God sees best. By anticipating care, and thus
antedating your future, you grieve the Spirit of God, wound your own peace,
and unfit yourself for present duty and trial. When that care comes— if come
it should— it will bring with it its own support, and a fulfillment of the
promise— “He cares for you.”
Do not sit not brooding over your state, deploring its existence, and
lamenting your lack of more faith, and grace, and love. Arise, responsive to
the precept, and cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain both
you and it. This inordinate absorption within yourself will bring to you no
relief, no heart’s ease, and no nourishment to faith. One uplifted glance—
one sight of Jesus— one believing touch of the promise of God, will bring
more repose to your anxious spirit, more succor to your burdened mind, than
a lifetime of self-absorption.
“No profit can you gain
By self consuming care;
To Him commend your cause,
His ear Attends the softest prayer.
Give to the winds your fears;
Hope, and be undismayed;
God hears your sighs, and counts your tears,
God shall lift up your head.
Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He gently clears your way:
Wait you His time— your darkest night
Shall end in brightest day.
Remember that this casting of our care on God is a present and a constant
duty. It is in the form of the present tense that the Holy Spirit, the
Comforter, addresses us: “Casting all your care on Him.” Defer it not until
the morrow, nor wait a better frame— do it now! A present care will
find a present Receiver, a present Helper, and a present relief. The Lord
your God neither accepts nor rejects, grants nor denies you, because of the
high or the low frame with which you approach Him. To suppose that He did—
that the spiritual tone of your mind influenced His decision— were to make
the turning point of His love to center in you rather than in Himself, and
to argue that God was moved by other motives than those found within His own
God’s dealings with us from first to last, in the greatest and in the
least; from the love that chose us from everlasting, to the smile that sheds
its bright halo around our dying pillow; proceed upon the principle of His
most free grace. And since He finds the motive of love and the bestowment of
blessing solely within Himself, He, the unchangeable One, will not revoke
the love, nor withdraw the gift, influenced by any fickleness or change He
traces in you. Then, be your frame low, your heart dead, your faith weak—
arise, and draw near to God, for the blood-tipped scepter bids you approach,
and the blessing, the richest God can bestow, or you desire, awaits your
Oh yes! the Lord cares for you. Little, obscure, despised, unworthy
though you may be, or deem yourself to be, the Lord has an interest in you,
the closest, the tenderest that ever dwelt in a heart of love. Bought with
the Savior’s blood, a temple of the Holy Spirit, sealed with the earnest of
the Spirit as a child of God and an heir of glory, oh, there is not a bright
angel in heaven for whom God so cares as He cares for you! Will you not
respond to this truth by transferring all your care to Him in the exercise
of a humble, unquestioning faith?
Others may have ceased to care for you. Change has congealed the warm
current of love, distance intercepts its flow, or death has stilled its
pulse, and you feel as if there existed in this wide world no heart, no
spirit, no mind that responded to, or that chimed and blended with your own.
But there is One!— Jesus cares for you. The Heart of God, from which all
other hearts kindle their affection, entwines you with its thoughts, its
sympathies, its love; and the Eye that searches the universe with a glance,
bends upon you its ceaseless look of love.
“When my father and my mother forsake me,”— when human affection quits
its last, its latest, its most sacred home on earth; “then the Lord
will take me up.” The desolateness of widowhood shall claim His sympathy,
the unbefriendedness of orphanage shall receive His protection, the
suffering and languor of sickness shall be sustained by His grace, the grief
of bereavement shall be soothed by His love, and the bed and valley of death
shall be cheered and brightened with His radiant presence. Then, confide in
and lean upon this divine, this human, this precious, this ever-present
Savior. He asks your boundless confidence and your warmest love. Most worthy
of it is He. Will you withhold it?
Take that anxious care which lies like lead upon your breast, which
chases peace from your mind, joy from your heart, slumber from your pillow,
shading all the landscape of life with wintry frost and storm, and lay it
upon the heart pierced by the soldier’s lance; the heart that distilled its
last drop of lifeblood on the tree; and peace shall enfold you beneath its
“Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto god. And the peace of
god, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.”
Shall I not trust my God, Who does so well love me—
Who, as a Father, cares so tenderly?
Shall I not lay the load, Which would my weakness break,
On His strong hand, Who never does forsake?
He does know all my grief, And all my heart’s desire;
He’ll stand by me until death, through flood and fire.
And He can send relief: My Father’s love, so free,
Until the new morning shall remain to me.
Who does the birds supply, Who grass, and trees, and flowers,
Does beautifully clothe, through ceaseless hours;
Who hears us before we cry; Can He my need forget?
No, though He slay me, I will trust Him yet.
When I His yoke do bear, And seek my chief joy
But in His righteousness and sweet employ:
He makes my soul His care; Early and late does bless,
And crowns work and purpose with success.
O blessed be His name! My Father cares for me!
I can no longer unbelieving be; All praise to Him proclaim;
I know He is my Friend; I know the Lord will love me to the end!