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, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV)
I discussed in a previous blog post that the virtual prayer group that God led me to develop almost one year ago expanded to include a group of wonderful ladies. Last Tuesday, during our “chat and pray” session, one of my sisters in Christ (thank you in advance!) said something that inspired the title for today. To paraphrase, she mentioned that she needed a reminder to cast her burdens and leave it with God. This struck a chord in my spirit and I heard Him whisper and felt the nudge which is why you are reading this right now and most likely you can relate to this in some way in your own life.
I am sure I am not the only one that experiences the emotion of anxiety every so often in this season of solitude. Well, according to an article published on Medscape by Pauline Anderson, “A national survey from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) shows COVID-19 is seriously affecting Americans’ mental health, with half of US adults reporting high levels of anxiety”, which is to be expected in the face of a pandemic. Although this seems to be appropriate, we all know that anxiety can be debilitating if we do not address it or discuss the root cause for its existence. I then went to the what I like to call the “Weapon of Mass Instruction”, the Bible to find a verse that would provide guidance on what to do when anxiety begins to force its way in.
As I perused through the pages of 1 Peter 5, my eyes fixated on these two powerful verses that we can put into practice as we are on pause. I noticed two important commands that prompted me to dissect further. Peter’s order to first humble ourselves provides so much clarity because it makes us aware that we are not in control. I am not sure if it is just me, but during the past month, I am becoming more and more mindful that this crisis is much bigger than us and there are things which I can control such as socially distancing and doing my part, but what I cannot control, I must cast out. I then thought of why I might feel anxiety and this pointed to the human nature to want to be in control of everything that happens, which if you think about it, it is impossible.
Next, I gazed at the word casting and thought, “what does that really mean? And how can I apply that to my life right now?” So of course, I went to the internet and searched Dictionary.com and found a definition that is so fitting; “to throw something forcefully in a specified direction”. I read it again and let it sink in. I then re-read the verses and it just made perfect sense. I need to be more cognizant that during this era of COVID-invasion, what I cannot control, I must cast, I must give it over to God, because He truly does care for me and for you too. What an encouraging thought to take away.
And yes, I know it is easier said than done, but during this crisis and calamity, we have to realize that God is control. He is. He truly is. I am not sure what you are facing today, but we are all facing something that seems bigger than us, which it is, and which is why we need Him. So as you continue on, press in to Him, humble yourself under Him and whatever is bringing you anxiety and worry, let it down so He can pick it up.
We are not in this by ourselves and if there were ever a source that we need to stick to during this age of anxiety, to help us destroy any feeling of defeat, it is His word and the promises that are so practically detailed for our application in every situation. The next time you begin to start to feel anxious, cast it and then do this one last thing, leave it. He’s got it.