Casting our cares on Jesus means more than just superficially saying we are casting our cares upon Him, it means we are actively trading our worries, anxieties and fears into prayers. It also means we are taking those disturbing, faith-less thoughts captive and continually renewing our minds with the truth in God’s word.
Sometimes we can get overwhelmed, especially during the holiday season. With so much to do, so many friends and family to visit, and so many gifts to buy with a limited budget. It can get overwhelming if we have difficult or even dysfunctional relatives or maybe even a prodigal child. Our burdens and concerns can make us feel heavy and as if weights were put upon our shoulders. We may even try to meet the demands and expectations of everyone, this can be especially difficult coming from a divorced or even step-family. We may be overwhelmed with consumerism that comes with the holidays, and feel we have to keep up with everyone else. Some may go into debt this holiday season or take on an extra job just to have the income to buy gifts that soon will be thrown to the waste-side!
Some will begin to drink more heavily or use drugs just to get through the demands and burdens of the holidays. Others will sink into a pit of despair and depression because they either cannot keep up with the demands and expectations, or some feel heartache from the many losses that they may have endured. Christmas should be one of the most joyous occasions but often we fall into the trap of pleasing others, trying to meet unrealistic expectations, and forgetting the only reason for the Christmas season is the celebration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are so busy during the holiday season that we do not take the time to rest with God. We must pull away from the hustle and bustle and business of the holiday season, and unplug our phones, iPad, laptops, and other electronic devices and plug into the source of our strength. We are not stopping long enough to get refilled and refreshed by Jesus. It is not about trying to please everyone, even your family, it is about Jesus and your relationship with Him.
These are some practical steps that you can take this holiday season to help with the stress that often accompanies this time:
- Organize, write down a “To-Do” list, and plan when possible.
- Have limits (budget) on your spending before you spend.
- Get creative and make homemade gifts. People will appreciate the thoughtfulness.
- Limit time with unhealthy, toxic, or negative family members.
- Say, “No.” You can’t be at every event, party and at every family function for the holidays.
- Rest when you can. Take time to rest because the holidays can be quite taxing physically and mentally.
- Do fun things and enjoy time with people who are enjoyable.
- Balance your eating during the holidays with fresh fruit and vegetables and drink green tea for immunity. Be sure to get some form of exercise.
- Carve out frequent time to spend with the Lord. Sit in His presence and let your soul be still before Him. Don’t go and run from place to place, but be still.
- Take long, warm bubble baths and sit back and let the warm water relax your tired muscles.
- Cast all your cares, anxieties, fears, and worries unto the Lord. Casting your cares means replacing your worries, burdens, and anxieties with prayer and taking every thought captive and renewing your mind with the truth of God’s word.
- Take it one day at a time. Focus on the day you have been given only.
- If you are lonely, depressed, find a good, Bible-believing church and attend and give back to others who are in difficult circumstances. Talk to someone, tell them how you feel, let someone pray with you. Don’t suffer alone.
CAST ALL YOUR CARES on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7, NIV
CAST YOUR CARES on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 55:22, NIV
GIVE YOUR BURDENS TO THE LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the Godly to slip and fall.
Psalm 55:22, NLT