1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
These two verses are very famous, but many people don’t realize they are consecutive. Actually, they are intimately connected, because anxiety comes from a combination of failing to trust God and of trying to be in control. We worry that things won’t turn out the way we want them to. We have a terribly hard time letting God be God! The verses before and after this make it clear that there is plenty we should be doing, but it needs all to be on the basis of God being in total control. We say we believe in God, but we still get anxious. That’s why Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1) We have such trouble doing that! The expression, “He cares for you,” gets interesting in Japanese because of the idiom involved. A literal translation is, “He distributes His heart about you.” That sounds a little weird, but it is the idiom that is used for “worry.” We know that God can’t worry about anything, because He knows the end from the beginning of everything, so we need to go back to the original meaning of the characters, indicating deep interest. Actually, the traditional English translation of this verse is pretty confusing too: “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” Rendering that first “cares” as “anxiety” does make it much less confusing, but the fact remains that both ends of this sentence are intimately connected in meaning. God involves His heart so that our hearts can be free. However, we won’t receive that until we accept that He’s smart and we aren’t, He’s in control and we aren’t even supposed to be. Humility is a requirement for peace.
This is certainly applicable to me! I was past 50 before it finally, really, got through to me that God’s smart and I’m not, and I still have trouble with thinking “how things ought to be,” and getting tied in knots because they aren’t that way. I’ll never forget the time I was not really praying, but just thinking about how many things there were that I wanted to be different, and God spoke to me very clearly. He said, “How do you think I feel?” It’s not at all that God is totally pleased with the current state of affairs, it’s that He knows perfectly how it’s all going to turn out, because He’s outside of time and sees it all at once. That’s a perspective I can’t have, and I’ve got to be satisfied with that fact. That’s where humbling myself and casting all my anxiety on Him comes in. It’s been quite a few years now since He told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. I’m still learning how!
Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s been better this year than in many past, but I still get tied in knots over the emotional pressures of the Christmas season. Help me be faithful to do what You want me to, but distinguish between that and other pressures. May I draw others to You by my joy at Your love in sending Your Son to this earth, so that many more may receive Him as Lord, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!