"Shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?"
All our way is known to the Lord, every turn in the path is noticed by Him: yesterday’s trial He knew, today’s difficulty is under His eye, tomorrow’s care is seen by Him.
On looking back at the yesterday of our journey, how truly each one of us can testify to the faithful goodness of God, raise our glad Ebenezer, and adoringly say, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us," whilst today we can count upon Him as "a very present help in time of trouble."
How graciously He invites us to cast all our care upon Him (the word translated "care," 1 Peter 5:7, includes distractions, worries, perplexities). Is it because He is able to remove these cares? No. Is it because He is willing to relieve us of them? No. Something far more tender, more consoling-it is because He careth for us. Think of that! We are to bring all our cares, distractions, worries, perplexities, and cast them upon Him because we are an object of care to Him; because He takes the deepest personal interest in us.
Why then are we sometimes burdened? Is it not because we do not tell our sorrows, do not make our requests known, do not pour out our hearts in prayer and supplication? Have we not always found, after telling our troubles-pouring out in simple, child-like language the story of our sorrows, making them known, and thus casting our burden on the Lord-that God our Father has sustained us, His peace has garrisoned our hearts?
He does not promise to remove the cause of our cares or take the pressure away, but what He does pledge is a peace that passeth all understanding, a sustainment in the midst of the sorrows, a gracious sense of His tender interest in us.
Our snare is that we do not tell Him everything. Little cares, little perplexities, we keep to ourselves, or perhaps say, "Ah, the Lord knows all about them"; and instead of casting them upon Him we try to bear them ourselves, until they get such a heavy load that we are apt to murmur at our lot, and think no one has as many worries as ourselves.
Do let us be simple. If the Lord says, "Make your requests known, cast all your care, roll the burden on Me," depend upon it, He intends us to do it. Let us begin by pouring into His ear the particular weight that is pressing upon us now. Every day brings with it some fresh need, but the fresh need will bring fresh mercy and grace to meet it; but to get relief from the pressure we must make our requests known, come with liberty of speech-for this is what the word "boldly" means-to the throne of grace.
What of tomorrow? We should look for no tomorrow here, our tomorrow is the glory where Christ is, but if tomorrow should dawn upon us in this world it then becomes today, and the grace which met us yesterday and meets us today will be available then; but if we anticipate sorrows before they come we have no support promised, no consolation pledged; our Lord said, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," thus intimating we have nothing to do with tomorrow.
An anticipated trouble is always worse than the reality, because we have no divine support pledged to meet it. Looking back, in how many cases the thing we dreaded, worried about, never came at all; or, if it did, comfort, help, grace from the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort lifted us above it.
Why dread what may never come? Think what God has pledged as to the future; dwell upon His sure promise, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Read the history of Jacob-the first to whom this promise was made-then the history of Joshua, the next, and you will have living proofs that God has been true to His promise. You could not get two men more dissimilar in their day and generation than Jacob and Joshua; the only point in which they were alike was that each was entering on a new experience in a foreign land when the promise was given, yet both, at the end of their course, testified to the faithfulness of God to His promise. It is repeated for us in the strongest possible terms in Hebrews 13, I will never, no never, on no account whatever, leave thee nor forsake thee.
Here then is tomorrow’s care provided for. In the confidence of this we may travel onwards, upheld by the everlasting arms, sheltered by the shadowing wings, secure in a Father’s hand; all we have to do is to pillow our wearied heads where John rested his, and drink in the love, care, goodness of our God, and as troubles come roll them upon Him in prayer, going again and again until the peace of God quiets our distracted minds and the care wherewith God cares for us becomes the solace of our hearts.
The love which we have so fully experienced, so truly proved in the past, is to be the ground of our confidence for the future. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" We may rely upon it that what God has been God will be until wilderness sorrows are over and travelling days are done; meantime we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Let us hold this fast, and whatever comes, carry all in prayer to God.
Each load in prayer gets lighter,
Strength comes day by day
From God, who is our refuge,
Our helper, and our stay.
"The raven, busy through the day in its quest for needed supplies, returns to sleep on the roost at night with no thought for the morrow."