1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that me may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I’m not aware if you ever knew,
There’s an author I like, his name Dr. Seuss.
And of all of his tales I have come to adore,
There has never been one that I ever liked more,
Than, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew,
The story about a young carefree chap who,
One day was attacked by his very first trouble,
Events that would burst that poor carefree man’s bubble.
A quail bit his tail, a rock stubbed his toe,
A Skritz stung him high, a Skrink bit him low.
And in all of this trouble he joined someone who
Was off on a journey to Solla Sollew
On the banks of the beautiful river Wah-hoo,
Where they never have troubles, at least very few…
Spoiler Alert! The mythical city of Solla Sollew didn’t provide our young hero relief from his troubles, either. But Peter reminds us we know someone who can, and does.
Do we recognize the kind of temptation involved with our inevitable suffering? None of us likes it. Perhaps no experience more tempts us to doubt God’s goodness. If the pain becomes severe enough, we might even be tempted to call God evil. Certainly he must know better than this! Or it can make us arrogant. Obviously we are wiser than the Lord, because we would never allow something like this to go on!
God’s strategy for coping with trouble must include humble trust. And the Lord provides us with the loving promises that create that trust. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Is that hard to believe? Does a God who loves us let our classmates ridicule us? Does a God who cares about us let pain linger on, and on, and on? Does a kind and compassionate God let our hearts be broken when we lose someone we care about, or when someone we love rejects us? Does a loving God leave us hanging in endless, agonizing suspense about our future?
The answer to those questions is that, even in all such experiences, God still cares for you. And underlining that promise, driving it home and making it real, is one reason that the preaching of the cross is always practical for life everyday. Remember, we are not the only ones who know about suffering. Jesus suffered, too. Would Jesus suffer for our sins on the cross if God didn’t care for you? Would the Lord graciously forgive all our sins if he didn’t care for you? Would our Lord have bothered to call us to faith and give us his word if he didn’t care for you? Even the worry and the anxiety and the cares are things he invites us to take off our shoulders, and give to him so that he can bear them for us. Humble trust in him will never be disappointed. His mighty hand has all the strength needed to lift us up at just the time he knows is right.