1 Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you."
This pandemic has been an incredibly humbling experience for us as a world, but I have been humbled as a person: both as a parent and a minister. In both of these vocations I deeply want to get it “right” and I thought I knew what that meant or could look like – but I’m no longer sure I know what “right” looks like or whether I can achieve it because all the rules have changed as our lives have been so completely altered. Suddenly success in ministry corresponds to hours and hours of online computer time and tech savviness while success in parenting corresponds to teaching common core math and reading to children who want nothing more than to play outside like its summer every day, all while making sure we have enough food, are washing our hands, and avoiding everyone we know and love. It all adds up to anxiety – anxiety that I’m not getting it right. And I know people have anxiety over many things right now.
But then we read 1 Peter today – and after calling us to be humbled (check), we hear words of grace: “Cast all your anxiety on (God), because he cares for you.” In our humbling, the next step is not increased anxiety or beating ourselves up, but simply recognizing how much the Lord cares for us – so much so that we are invited to “cast our anxieties” on God. I like to visualize my prayers and this verse offers a wonderful visualization for us. Can you prayerfully imagine all your anxieties being bundled up, like dirty laundry, and then literally thrown, or cast upon God to carry for you? God takes them for us when we offer them up to God. When my shoulders aren’t big enough, and they certainly aren’t big enough right now, we have a God willing to take the weight off of us. It’s okay not to get it right – and it’s even okay to worry – but then cast your anxieties upon God. God loves us so much that God will take them and bear them for us. And so, in our humbling, we find grace. Thanks be to God!