It is unusual for a single word to have two completely opposite connotations, yet that is the case with the word “care.” In my experience it can mean nurturing and healing or wary and weakening. I either meekly trust in the Lord or live in my own strength—proudly self-reliant. The prophet Jeremiah laments in chapter 2, verse 13 that God’s people had forsaken Him,“the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out . . . broken cisterns.” We become dry and care worn when we seek to live independently of God’s grace, whereas leaning on Him gives us that sense of being cared for.
“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:25). Paul warns against divisions and urges believers in the body of Christ to help and encourage one another. On the other hand, he urges the Philippians, “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). No believer should worry about his own circumstances; he should pray and trust God for help. The apostle Peter also urges trust in God’s mighty power. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Peter knew by experience that God can deliver from the worst circumstances (Acts 12:5–11).
GOLDEN THOUGHT: God cares for you.
[Excerpt adapted from Wonderful Words by Stewart Custer (January 20 reading).]
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