God Cares for and about You.
Because he cares for you. (I Peter 5:7, ESV)
My husband and I have cared for one another for greater than 40 years, getting closer to 50 at this stage. Notice I did not say we have cared about one another for that length of time, although we have and do, but rather cared for one another.
Although we often use these words interchangeably, they actually have two different meanings. Caring about someone is more of an abstract concept, based upon emotions or feelings towards that person, such as feeling the desire to look after them. But caring for someone is a physical concept, i.e. supporting them financially, or physically helping them with their work. Being physically present to help during sickness or times when they are not as mobile or independent, etc. there have been season when one of us needed the others support to get through a health crisis or balance studies with family and work life. I can remember when my husband was in the seminary and I helped care for him and our family through my employment and helping him prepare for exams etc.
God, our heavenly Father holds the standard with both of these concepts, performing both perfectly. He cares about us: he has the deepest affection for us, he has spiritual and emotional ties to us, he is emotionally invested in us, his heart is united to ours, he is loving towards us and yes, he desires to look after us like the shepherd looks after their sheep. But he also cares for us. From the beginning of creation, he has provided for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs flawlessly. He sent Jesus to teach, feed and heal us. And even now, he is present with us through the power and dwelling of His own Holy Spirit to accompany us in our life’s journey. As the Scriptures say he sticks closer to us than a blood or biological brother (Proverbs 18:24). He comes to be our strength and help, our protection, and comfort. He also supplies our needs, not just spiritually but materially. All we have to do is call upon him in our time of need and he will supply our need.
Peter says the person who prays, knowing that God provides for their needs, the person who knows that he or she has a Father who is gracious to him or her through Christ Jesus truly knows God and has embraced what it means to be cared for by him. Let’s Pray,
Dear God, thank you for caring about us and caring for us. we don’t often think of these two concepts as different but they are. Thank you for covering us in every way we need and even I the ways we are not aware of. May we always have a heart of gratitude and be content to live in your gracious, all encompassing care. Amen
Questions for Soul-Tending
Spend some time reflecting on how God has cared for and continues to care for and about you. Let it lead you into a time of prayer and praise.
How can you talk to someone else about the way God cares for and about them that may make a difference in their life?
How will you incorporate these concepts of care into your plan of soul-care?