Have you as a pastor or spiritual leader every thought, "Why do I care so much?" I sure have.
This reality has been something that I have carried for many years as a pastor. I care - to the point of it hurting.
In the Old Testament we will see this neat story of Elisha and Elijah. "So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle around him." You can read the story it in its entirety here 1 Kings 19.
Let me paint a small but accurate picture. This man Elisha was just doing his business, going about his life, and taking care of his family. The prophet comes along and throws his mantle on an innocent bystander. One moment he is plowing, the next moment he is serving the prophet.
Elisha didn't ask for this. He didn't go looking for it. It just happened.
For you and I the same thing happened. We were just going about our lives, tending to life as usual, when all of a sudden God drops this mantle on us to care for people who might not care for us.
But, this is our reality. We are anointed to care. We are called to care. We are positioned to care. Even when others do not care about us, we have the charge and command to care for them.
It is in some ways the curse of the calling. We care till it hurts.
Whether this is healthy to care this much or not isn't the topic - this is just our reality. So my encouragement to you is this: Don't stop caring. Someone needs you to care. Guard your heart against bitterness. Take these things weighty "cares" to the Lord in prayer. But whatever you do - care.
Even though 1 Peter 5:7 is relating more to anxiety and your personal struggles, it is still good to cast it all on Him - cause He cares for you.
How do you manage the burden of caring for others?