Monday, August 22, 2011

Unload

1 Peter 5:7 has always been one of my favorite verses. Peter challenges the churches he is writing to to "cast all your anxieties upon Him, for He cares for you." I especially like the Phillips translation: "You can throw the whole weight of your anxiety on Him, for you are His personal concern." It amazes me that the Almighty God cares for me individually and would bend to take care of everything that worries me.

More recently, I have gotten to know the Louis Segond version (in French), which says, "...et déchargez-vous sur lui de tous vos soucis, car lui-même prend soin de vous." (literally "...and unload yourselves on Him of all your worries, for He Himself takes care of you.") When I first saw that translation, I took note of it because it's one of my favorite verses, but didn't think much of the differences in meaning between French and English. Then a few years later, I realized that the French verb décharger means "to unload", rather than "to cast" or "to throw" (although unloading does often involve a throwing action). I thought that was interesting. Then, later, I pointed that out to my friend Jerri, who shed new light on it. She commented that, coming from a farming background, the idea of unloading brought to her mind an image of driving a pickup with heavy machinery, then unloading it and being able to sail. I love that image. Then a couple weeks ago, I thought further about it, and it occurred to me that the word "unload" carries more connotations than I had realized. At least in English (not sure if this applies to French or not), the word "unload", when referring to worries, can also mean pouring your heart out to someone, telling them everything that's worrying you. In the past, I always interpreted the verse to mean that I should just pray to God and ask Him to take away my worries. I realized that it can also mean to unload my worries on Him, to pour out my heart. I know from experience that doing that with anyone that I know I can trust is a powerful thing.

Just now, I decided to look into the Greek version:

πασαν την μεριμναν υμων επιρριψαντες επ αυτον οτι αυτω μελει περι υμων.

Apparently, the word πιρίψαντες (epiripsantes) only appears twice in the New Testament. The other occurrence is in Luke 19:35, when Jesus’ disciples threw their clothes on the donkey’s back so He could sit on it in order to enter Jerusalem. The way it is conjugated, the word means “having thrown.” But in a way, even in the verse in Luke, they took their cloaks off of themselves to put them on the donkey for Jesus. That’s also, to an extent, unloading.

I’m not sure if Peter had the idea of unloading in his mind when he wrote it, but I love that image, and I think it is more powerful than just asking God to take away our worries. Don’t get me wrong, He is happy to do that if we ask Him, but unloading ourselves onto Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, can be a powerful tool. Even just talking out what we are worried about, and listening for His response, can go a long way to helping us through the pain of whatever we’re going through. Whether or not we have another human around to share with, God is always there, and He loves it when we share our worries and concerns with Him. He can help put things in perspective, help us to lean on Him, and take away a lot of the worry.

2 comments :

  1. Yes. Unloading on Him is an excellent benefit. For he came that we may have life abundant.

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  2. Steven, I love you HUGE! You always know how to say the right things!

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