2 Peter ESV
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
When Anxiety Set In…
We've all had anxiety. Right? Struggled to pay the bills, worried about your relationship, or nervous at work wondering what your boss might think? This fear consumes you makes you feel like you're to blame for the problem. Maybe you could have done it differently. I've always been one that when a situation arises, I do everything I can personally do to try to fix it, even when it's out of my control. Especially when it is out of my control, I look at the problem from every angle to find a fix. Unfortunately, I never had any luck. Often I picture God looking down from heaven, shaking his head at me, telling me he's waiting for me to give him the situation. I start crying, telling him I gave it to him weeks ago, but I look down, and it is still in my hand.
When I was a single mom taking care of preteens and teens, I struggled. It was not an easy job. Thankfully, the Lord was with me every step of the way. So often, I was carrying a burden that I wasn't meant or designed to carry. There was one event that will always stick with me. You all might have heard this in my testimony. I was struggling to try and pay the bills. I had one problem after another come at me, and bills were stacking up, and before I knew it, my house was going into foreclosure. God had blessed me with this house. I knew that if God had blessed me with this house, he would not let it go into foreclosure. Still, the pressure of not knowing how God would get me out of this situation was about to do me in. I was concerned. I couldn't eat or sleep. I was carrying this burden that I wasn't mine to carry.
I had to go to Alabama to sing at my sister's church during this time. They had just opened and were having a church dedication service. That same weekend there in Huntsville, Alabama, a conference was going on. Usually wouldn't go to a meeting by myself in a town where I didn't know anyone. However, how could I pass up the opportunity to see Karen Wheaten preach and Kari Jobe sing? I went and was so blessed. Catherin Mullens sang a song that touched me. The chorus in the song said, "My Praise is a Weapon." The words were like a light bulb in my head, my God has given me weapons against the enemy, and I haven't been using them.
Casting Your Cares
Instead of using those weapons that the Lord gave me to use, I had been crying out to God, struggling through this, carrying this big pack on my back, bent over with this load because I couldn't let it go. I found freedom that weekend, but you know how it is you go home, and life is staring you in the face again. I was still dealing with everything on my own, my house was going into foreclosure, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't know where God was taking me and what he was doing in my life. God brought that song I heard in Alabama to my remembrance, so I found it on YouTube and played it in my house. God's Spirit came into the house. I ran, danced, and sang praises at the top of my lungs. I scream at the devil; I lay on the floor praying. I had a time with the Lord, and I found freedom!
Remember I said that problem was still in my hands? I didn't realize I had a backlash cast when I prayed about my need. A backlash cast is a fishing term that happens when you go to cast, and the cast doesn't go out. It snaps back at you, and now it's all tangled, and it's a mess. I hadn't been casting my cares on the Lord. It was snapping back on me. I still had them in my hand. I was still trying to solve the problem while praying about it.
So face to face with this new understanding, I said, "God, this is your problem; it's not mine. You gave me this house, you gave me these children, and you told me to go out into full-time ministry, so I know that you will meet the need," and you know what? He did precisely that. The house was no longer in foreclosure, my payments dropped, and a few months later, I got engaged. I married six months later, sold the house, and made money on it. My debt was settled!
God wanted me to cast my cares, all of my cares, on him. If I had figured out a way to get out of the problem, I guarantee it would not have been overflowing with the blessings from God's solution to the problem! I used to have anxiety attacks because I tried to do everything in my strength, but God wanted me to rely on his strength. So I had to give God the situation and exchange it for his peace.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
You've heard of peace that passes all understanding? It took me a long time to understand it. Let me leave you with this last story that may help paint the picture.
Years ago, when I sang for brother Swaggart, I had always done solos; I had never led praise and worship. That was a comfortable place for me because I could sing my song and return to my spot. I was good with that. When they asked me to lead praise and worship, I was nervous. I pressured myself to be perfect. I wanted to pick the perfect song and make sure everything was just right so the Holy Spirit would move. How arrogant was I was trying to make the Holy Spirit do what only he could do. I could have picked a bad song, and the Holy Spirit could still move because that's who he is, and that's what he does, but I was taking all the care on myself and putting all the pressure on myself that I began to have anxiety attacks. I would stand on stage terrified to sing, and there were a couple of times I walked off stage and handed the mic to someone else because I couldn't handle the pressure. They would have to finish the praise and worship. I couldn't manage the illness that came along with the anxiety at the moment. I was going to be ill and sick; I couldn't breathe. The enemy had come against my mind, and I realized one day I had let the enemy come in and destroy what God had been doing in my life.
When I gave God the fear (anxiety of the problem), I exchanged it for his peace. I prayed and decided I had to walk out there every time and believe God would get me through it; if I got sick, that's just going to happen. I chose to let God see me through it. He will sing through me, and I must rely upon the Holy Spirit that he will get me through. Over time, choosing to stand in God and allowing His peace to wash over me, I realized I could walk out on that stage with no anxiety. The Holy Spirit had released me from it. I had learned to rely on the Holy Spirit entirely. I want to encourage you to rely on the Holy Spirit, cast all your cares on him, he will give you a peace that passes all understanding, and he will see you through. Bliss in the times of the problem because you are no longer trying to figure your way out of it. You can let go, lay back, and realize this is life. So praise his name, lay back, and enjoy the beauty around us.
Matthew 6:26-34 NKJV
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you, by worrying, can add one cubit to his stature? 28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
This passage says it all. Realize you have a father that made you; he will take care of you, your children, and your family.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27