19 Jun Cast your anxieties on God
Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you – 1 Peter 5:7
Reading this brings many questions to mind. Casting all your anxieties on him… What does this mean? How do we do this What do we need to do cast our anxieties on God well?
Perhaps, other questions also arise. Do I have anxieties? What are they? Am I a ‘real’ Christian if I have fears and anxieties? Is anxiety a lack of faith? Can I be anxious and trust in God at the same time?
Before we move forward, we need to learn more about our anxieties.
Sometimes our lives become so full and so fast that we don’t take the time to notice that we have emotions. We don’t pay attention and to what is going on in our hearts, and we are going so fast that we don’t listen to our bodies. We are operating off adrenaline, not having time for anything more than getting everything done.
If we take the time to slow down, to breathe, to relax, we realise that there is often a whole lot more going on under the surface. It is in these moments that were are often tempted to reach for something so that our minds are occupied, or that we can escape from what is brewing. If we are able to move past the escapism, we can lean into what is really going on. We can take the time to notice that we are feeling, and what these feelings are about.
Our anxieties reflect what we love.
We experience fear and anxiety when things that we value are at risk. Before passing judgment on the legitimacy of our anxieties, it is important to note what it is that we love. If we are afraid of our children getting hurt while playing, it is because we value their health and safety. If we are afraid of the dark, it is because of the danger of the unknown and we value our own safety. Anxiety over the spiritual wellbeing of a brother or sister is because we care about and value their eternal safety. Sometimes our anxieties can be unbalanced or out of order. It is important to notice what is going on so that we are able to reflect on them, learning what it is what we love, so that we may grow in loving what God loves.
Trust in God
Trusting God does not mean that we will be free from anxieties. Anxiety on it’s own is not a lack of trust. Our biggest acts of trust are not when we are without fear, it is when we move forward regardless of fear. A child who is scared of the monsters under the bed trusts their parents to look for them and scare them away. Their trust doesn’t remove the fear of the monsters, instead their trust is greater than the fear.
Think about how you trust those that are close to you. A spouse or dear friend. Trusting in them means that you share with them your fears and anxieties. It means that you have the confidence to be vulnerable, open and honest. It means that you are willing to tell them what is going on, trusting that they will hold that information in confidence, and that they will hold you in their hearts, supporting you in the way they can.
God is so much greater than a spouse or a close friend. Trusting in God is engaging in open and honest communication about the matters of our heart. It is telling him about what is going on. It is casting our anxieties before him. It is coming before God in open, honest, raw prayers. Knowing and believing that God cares for you, he carries you.
Reflect on your prayers.
Are they filtered, only sharing the stuff that you think God wants to hear? Are the open? Honest? Vulnerable? Are your prayers a reflection of the trust and confidence that you place in your heavenly father? Do they speak of your fears and anxieties?
We can cast our anxieties on God because we trust that he cares for us. He cares so very deeply. Trusting in him is so much more than believing that he is in control over everything. It is believing that he cares for us. It is believing that he is our comfort and our strength. It is trusting that he is a Father who cares about us. A father who wants us to tell him of our anxieties and fears.
Our anxieties and our fears may be out of line. They may reflect idols in our hearts. They may also reflect how we are valuing what God has commanded us to value. No matter why we are experiencing anxiety we can put it before God’s feet. We can cast our anxieties on him. We trust that God will comfort us in our pain, he will provide strength in our weakness. We trust that he will be secure where we are insecure, and loving and forgiving where we stumble or go astray.
Cast your anxieties on him.
When I am afraid I put my trust in you – Psalm 56:3