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The Casting Grounds

While growing up in New Jersey, my father took the entire month of August off of work. Since my father was in sales, he discovered a cabin for rent on a Thompson Lake in Maine. This experience opened my eyes to dirt roads and weekly trips to the dump. My father loaded up the back of our station wagon with trash bags and the kids were responsible for throwing them out the back. Little did I know that visiting these casting grounds 45 years ago prepared me for unloading my own burdens to the Lord in prayer.

Casting the [c]whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [d]once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you [e]watchfully, 1 Peter 5:7.

Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, life is filled with daily anxieties, concerns, and stress. If you don’t have someone to talk to on a weekly basis, these burdens will accumulate quickly. As a child, my only worries were making new friends and praying that one of my stuttering fits didn’t occur at school. Unfortunately, the older you get, life seems to become more complicated with overwhelming stress that can suck the life out of your soul. This is the context in which Jesus is referring to in the passage below.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [o]ease and relieve and [p]refresh [q]your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([r]relief and ease and refreshment and [s]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, [t]good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne, Matthew 11:28-30.

One of roles of prayer is to provide a spiritual casting ground where troubled and worn-out Christians can unload their burdens. The key is you have to let go of each individual concern and let God cast it as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:10-12. Don’t take back these anxieties, concerns, and worries after you have said Amen. Rather, cast these burdens like I threw trash bags at the local dump in Maine. If you have to, use visualization to unload all of your troubles so that after praying you will find rest for your soul.

by Jay Mankus

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