Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church April 27th, 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:7 is well known as one of the more comforting verses in all of scripture. It is, of course, a really wonderful message for all of us in difficult times, ‘cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’
Doesn’t that sound good? I love that image of ‘casting’ – throwing off our concerns, our worries, our anxiety – like a blanket off our shoulders. The picture that is created in my mind is one of children (name redacted to protect the guilty) balling up one of the blankets on our couch and tossing it into it’s storage basket from across the room as they stand up. It sounds so easy, and so simple. The reality is, of course, not so easy. Our anxiousness, our worry, and our doubts don’t tend to be as easily shaken as that blanket.
So what are we missing? What is it that is keeping us from casting off our fears and anxieties? While it isn’t magic or an immediate solution, I think the immediately preceding verse provides us with some important insight.
Verse six implores us to ‘humble ourselves before God so that he might lift us up’. Perhaps why we aren’t always able to cast off our fears and give them over to God, is because we are too often skipping a step. That step, it turns out, is pretty important. Before we can cast our fears to God, we have to admit that we need the help.
That is what humbling ourselves is all about. We live in a world that tells us that we are on our own and that, ultimately, we can rely on no one but ourselves. The way of Jesus runs completely counter to that idea. Jesus, our savior and also our model for how to live fully and faithfully in this world, humbled himself to come to us. Jesus humbled himself to serve us. Jesus humbled himself, by always, always pointing to his Father as the source of all he did and all of his power.
Jesus is big enough to handle our doubts, and fears, and anxiety, but he asks us to trust him enough, and to humble ourselves enough to ask for his help. Casting our anxiety onto God is a wonderful opportunity to live into the freedom to live a full life offered to us in Jesus, but it is the second step in the process. That first step, a critical one, is to humble ourselves enough to admit we need help and to trust God to give it.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: Lord, be with us this day. Curb our pride and selfishness. Humble us enough to trust in your grace, glory, and goodness. Help us to trust you and to cast our anxieties onto you. Amen.