Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Wonderful Peace"1 (Lyrics)
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)
Imagine a terrified cat trapped in a tight space — the space between a ceiling and the floor above it. That's exactly where we found our cat one day. Now this is not the contented cat that I wrote about another time — the one who illustrated what it means to rest contentedly in God's love.
Today, I am talking about an anxious cat which lacked the ability to trust, and oh! the troubles it caused her, along with frustration and grief to us! Her anxiety caused her to do things that endangered her safety, like on this day. The ceiling space was full of sharp nails protruding down from the floor above. She would surely get hurt by them if she moved quickly. Yet, when my husband, who had pulled away some ceiling tiles, reached in to rescue her, she retreated further back. Her anxiety held her in the tight grip of distrust. We could not help her. So we left her alone.
She eventually came out. But the tragedy is that she never got to experience those loving arms drawing her to safety. She missed a wonderful opportunity to build trust and to enjoy sweet companionship with her master.
The lesson here is easy to see, isn't it? We can understand the gripping power of anxiety. We know how fear can harm us and deprive us of blessings. Just like for our cat, anxiousness can prevent us from letting God love us and from enjoying sweet fellowship with Him. We might even withdraw from God, just when He most wants to help us overcome our fear.
Our cat would hide whenever we had company. Likewise, we find ways to avoid the possibility of experiencing anxiety. But that is not a life of victory. Thankfully, in God we have the provision to rise above our anxieties and to live victoriously in the presence of threatening circumstances. As we walk boldly in faith through our life trials, we become a convincing witness of God's power and His trustworthy love.
The verse directly before the words, "Cast all your anxiety on him", says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (1 Peter 5:6 NIV)
Did you catch the verb here? The instruction is "humble yourselves". That suggests to me that pride, not our fears or our circumstances, is the main obstacle to overcome.
When we encounter experiences which make us anxious, let us view them as opportunities to humbly trust God and to quietly wait on Him to draw us to safety. Perhaps our prayer in those times might be like this:
Prayer: Lord, I am anxious right now. I know that You truly do care for me, and I have no just cause for anxiety. Please help me to overcome my pride and any faulty notion that I must be in control. And now, O Lord, I wait for You to lift Your mighty hand on my behalf in due time. Amen.