Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
First Peter 5: 7 NRSV
The other day, we were driving along the highway. Along the shores of a lake, we saw an old fly fisherman patiently casting his line out into the water. It was a beautiful, picturesque scene which filled me with peace.
Here in First Peter, we are encouraged to do a little “casting” of our own. We are to cast our anxiety upon the Lord. A fly fisherman catches fish because he casts the line far from him, where a fish might nab the fly. In the same way, we ought to cast our anxieties away from ourselves. When we cast away our anxieties, then we can then reel in the reward of peace, knowing that the Lord has gathered whatever we have cast to Him.
The scriptures speak often of how we should not worry, or fret, or be anxious about matters. Jesus himself said the following:
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Matthew 6: 25 NRSV
First Peter is helpful to us because it does more than just command us to cast our anxieties and worries upon the Lord. It also provides a reason, perhaps THE reason, why we ought to do so. What is that reason? “Because God cares for you.”
The Lord cares for us, loves us, provides for us, and watches out for us. He knows us so intimately that He can count every single hair upon each of our heads. Knowing us so personally, God knows our needs, our frustrations and other things which create stress and anxiety in our lives.
When we hold onto our anxiety, it shows that we are afraid that the Lord cannot handle it. We want to be in control, and to solve or fix things by ourselves. We do this because we may not trust the Lord to do it the way we want it done. When we hold tight to our anxiety, we are saying that we do not trust the Lord with everything, but rather only some things.
First Peter is encouraging us to relax into God’s loving care. Relaxing is difficult and sometimes impossible when you are anxious. It is also difficult and exhausting for others to be around someone who has anxiety. Finding peace and trusting that the Almighty is not just a suggestion. It is a necessity. We can securely rest in the Lord, knowing He is watching out for us, at all times, and in every situation.
Jesus knew that the crowds gathered to listen to His great sermon had their own stories, concerns, and anxieties. He also knew that they needed to hear His message. Jesus gave them the option to either struggle with their worries, or to give them to Him. A few verses after encouraging the people not to worry about their lives, Jesus offers them a reason. He says,
31Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Matthew 6: 31-32 NRSV
The Lord cares deeply and intimately for each one of us. Therefore, today and every day, let us cast our cares upon Him. We never need to do this by ourselves. As one person put it, “God’s got this!” Whatever “this” is in your life: any anxiety-producing situation, remember that God is bigger than any worry. Let your anxieties, no matter how large or how little, subside, and let your faith grow, as you lean upon the arms of the Lord…
Loving and Holy Lord,
I thank You for offering me a better path to peace than the one I might attempt on my own. Help me to trust You with all the fear I have of letting go, and not being in control. Help me to release the anxiousness I feel, and to fall with trust into Your arms. May I show others the peace and tranquility that comes from allowing you to care for every detail of my life. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen