Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

On casting our care on God

"Casting all your cares upon him; for he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

"Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

Daily, by my anxious cares, how do I discredit these soul-comforting, soul-composing truths—that God cares for his people, that their concerns are his, and that he keeps them as the apple of his eye?

If a kind-hearted Samson went along the way with me, and took my burden from my back, and bore it on his robust shoulders—would it not be impertinent to run up and attempt to bear up the burden, though forbidden? Just so, God has commanded me to cast all my cares upon him, with this sweet assurance—that he cares for me.

He has no more need of my care joined to his care, than he has need of my assistance to support the pillars of the world! Though rolling my burden on the Lord does not supersede a moderate concern, and the use of lawful means—yet I am so to cast my cares on God, as if I had no more concern with them. O how unlike a child of God, an expectant of glory—to have so many anxious cares, and disquieting forebodings, about the things of time!

My cares may multiply, my concerns may grow—but can never be too many for God. He has borne the cares of his people through many generations, and well may I cast all mine on him. God's care of me is always productive of good; but my worry and distrust avails nothing—but gives present pain, and future disappointment. When God kindly claims it as his province to care for me, why should I encroach on his province, by excessive worry and caring for myself? He is a Rock, and his work is perfect—without my worry. The stronger my faith is in God, I will have the less worry about myself. When I worry about myself, I am distracted with doubts and unbelief; but when I cast my cares on God, in the actings of a vigorous faith, I have peace and composure of soul.

Did the king of Great Britain send me a message, 'Do not worry—for I will provide for you and yours,' should not I rely on the royal promise, and think myself secure? Then, is the promise, the compassion, the treasure, and the faithfulness—of the King of heaven—less to be depended on than of any earthly king? His care has been extended to a numerous race of my ancestors, since Japhet left the ark, and through Pagan darkness, and Popish delusion, has brought me to a clear light of the gospel. To his unerring care, both with respect to soul and body, I may well commit my posterity to the end of time. His care fashioned me in my mother's womb, and will not forsake me, now that I am near to being laid in my grave.

I know not how far I should extend my care, because I know not how long I shall live. Now, my cares are mostly for events and times to come—and yet I cannot boast of tomorrow. Therefore, as no time is mine but the present—so I should have no anxieties for the future.

If I should rub the flesh off my bones with worry—it would not alter the plan of providence towards me. Therefore, strong faith and entire resignation to the disposal of God, are both my indispensable duty, and will be my best wisdom.

"Don't worry about anything!" is a command as large and extensive, as it is kind and gracious. That is—have no anxious concern about future times—apparent losses, about friends and relations, about wife or children, widow or orphan, house or home, food or clothing, poverty or reproach, sickness or death.

So often has my worry produced nothing but pain and disquiet—that it is high time for me to be ashamed of it—and to entirely give it up. And so often has God's provision done wonders for me, watched over me for good, and done all things well—that I may cast my every care on him with confidence and joy!