Anxiety is a strange thing, creeping up at times when we least expect it and quickly overwhelming us. When we think about it, though, we realize that anxiety’s causes are generally the same for everyone. They may take on a different face, they may be propelled by different circumstances, but the issues themselves are remarkably similar.
When we face anxiety, we often try to ignore it by distracting our minds: “Let me listen to some music. Let me go for a drive. Let me run a mile. Let me do something … just let me run away!”
Notice, though, that in this verse, Peter does not say we are to deny, ignore, or flee from anxiety. Instead, we should be “casting all your anxieties on him.” The Greek word for “cast” here is a decisive, energetic action word. It might just as well be used to describe throwing out a bag of trash. We don't take a painstaking effort in moving it; we simply grab it and hurl it into the bin. Likewise, instead of going through our days pressed down by the burden of anxiety, we are to throw it, hurl it, upon the Lord.
It will help us, too, to read the verse in context: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him.” In other words, humility’s presence leads to anxiety’s absence. When we take matters into our own hands through too much worry, we indicate an absence of humility: we’re more concerned with ourselves than with our heavenly Father.
Whether it’s unemployment, exams, singleness, or recurring illness, we may not be able to remove the causes of our anxiety. Peter doesn’t address circumstances, though; he addresses the anxiety produced by the circumstances. Our anxiety itself is what we cast upon the Lord, doing exactly what the Bible says to do: humbling ourselves under God’s hand, saying, “Father knows best.” We can refuse to be burdened by the worries which weigh us down, disturbing our peace and distracting our minds, because of the Lord’s willingness to help.
You might be struggling through today, hoping you’re going to make it to tomorrow. Perhaps it’s been a long time since you knelt beside your bed and truly cast your burden upon the only One who is able to carry it, saying, “God, I cannot live my life with this burden on my back. Take it. It’s Yours.”
If that’s you, don’t hesitate any longer. Cast your anxieties into the loving arms of your heavenly Father and experience the freedom and peace only He can provide.
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