“Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6–7, NASB95) Sounds simple, right? When worry, stress, and anxiety find their ways into our lives all we need to do is pile them on to Jesus and go along as if everything is hunky-dory, a-okay, zip a dee do da – what a wonderful day. Can I tell you that over my lifetime there have been several times when it seems that Jesus and I were playing catch – pitching the anxieties of life back and forth? I’d throw them his direction and find some peace, only to have them return a few hours or a few days later. Do this often enough and it can make you anxious over your anxieties! Worrying about why you are worrying. What I eventually learned is that there is a second part, well, actually a first part to this promise of God.
The whole verse reads, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6–7, NASB95) Often the cause of our anxiety, stress, and worry has something to do with control. Either our situation is totally out of control, like being in a rowboat on a storm-tossed sea. Or circumstances are simply out of our control and in the hands of someone else. Either way, the answer is the same – relinquish all control or hope of control over to Jesus. This is what it means to humble ourselves before God – To recognize that He is God, we are His people, and He is in control even if we don’t understand it. Jesus invites all who are stressed out – “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28–30, NASB95) Jesus’ invitation is the same as the promise found in Peter. Take off the burdens you carry, choose to be yoked to Jesus, and allow God to have the reigns of life. Believe me, it works a whole lot better than a stress ball or a worry stone.