Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Upon reading this I am reminded of how much more is implied when we do cast our anxieties upon the Lord – We are entrusting our raw feelings to God, that He may uphold us with His mighty hand. The more I think about it the more I realize, it definitely implies that we are consequently humbling ourselves – and this humility we’re brought to says and admits that we couldn’t handle what makes us anxious, by ourselves.
But we don’t do this for the primary reason of self-abasement. Sure, it helps for us to think of ourselves less (and probably a little of thinking less of ourselves, sure), but given enough consideration we’re brought to acknowledging the fact of our suffering before the truth of God’s extravagant and everlasting love for us.
Here I enjoy the utility of the English Standard Version, and the other verses it leads me to from the initial passage:
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act.
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
“He trusts in the LORD; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, for He delights in him!”
Now, upon playing with these verses, I come up with the following – what, combinations? Connections, for sure:
Casting our anxieties upon Him apparently entails much more than just humbling ourselves. It means we cast our burdens upon Him – and doesn’t that sound familiar? Christ said the same thing in the Gospel of Matthew. We come to Him and cast our burdens upon Him. And just as He is our Prince of Peace, surely He will bring us to true rest, knowing that He will sustain us, and what’s more, He will never permit us to be moved.
To cast our anxieties and burdens on Him has its parallels to our committing our way and work. It’s already such a relief that we have a Savior to whom we can lift what gives us anxiety, and to whom we could ask for help for what weighs us down – but apparently, we can (and should) acknowledge Him, and recognize His closeness and His presence with us as we proceed to the directions we choose, and as we perform our duties and responsibilities. We trust Christ with our way and our work and in the process, we would say that He will act, and our plans will be established.
See how we’ve come a long way from recognizing exactly how much Christ cares for us? If we find ourselves in a pickle, we would do well to remember that our God is absolutely trustworthy; and in our recalling, may we also move in a way that others are reminded that they can trust in the Lord as well.
Our God is trustworthy. He is worthy of our trust. He is worthy of our doubts.
If I’m honest, that’s what I feel I need to do right now. I will say that it is certainly exciting to understand and realize what Christ would do for me and my anxieties and burdens, as well as my way and my work. It’s what we all ought to place our focus on. However, right now, call it work if you must, but I just feel like doing my part of the deal.
What do I mean? I want to cast all my cares on Him. I want to cast my burdens upon Him. I want to commit my way, I want to commit my work to Him – Man, Lord knows I couldn’t pull any of this off on my own.
And that’s even if I remember everything! See, recently I had separate Evernote entries for what I thought were categories of stuff I wanted to get done… and in all my ‘organizing’ I totally forgot the most important ‘category’ or ‘compartment’ – Family and Friends.
So what’s on my mind is in need of organization, but unfortunately there remains other things of equal importance, that are out of sight, and out of mind. It doesn’t help to know I remember what I missed out on, simply because there’s probably a lot more I need to recall.
And it’s not as if I’m willing to organize. There remains some aspects of the flesh that show significant influence over my being… and I know this isn’t going to do much by way of helping me, but I’ll share my struggles plain and simple here – Heck, I’m willing to let God know, so I may as well be open about it here.
I’m more aware now than I’ve ever been of the need to walk away from long-seated habits that are either warping my perceptions of reality, or downright keeping me busy with no return of time investment. I also say I see the need to be walking away from thinking about what might have been and what still could be salvaged from relationships long gone. I’m not going to deny that I miss these folks, but in the same pattern I’m instead praying to be brought to whom I ought to be appreciating and valuing – and not just a partner, but really, the people who really matter.
In my age I am quite ashamed to admit that there are still remnants of the old mindset that I need to repent of – from the deceptive and draining temptations, to the time-wasting indulgences, and the relationships I’m holding onto with just my imagination, plus the resultant questions that may be left unanswered indefinitely.
But it doesn’t stop there. Something else that’s been on my mind these recent days that needs to be let out: I’m fully aware that I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my investing this year. It all ties in, I suppose – I was willing to spend towards people and entities clearly trying to take advantage of people who had extra resources to spend on ‘investing’, with promises of returns with little efforts of their part.
To that end I say that now is a good time to evaluate, before wrapping up all I’ve established – closing out or cancelling what needs to end, while assuring the maintenance of that which I decide should keep going. To rephrase that for me to make any sense – I need to make stern evaluation of all I’ve put my money into so far, especially this year; And I should decide on what still needs my attention, and what needs to be cut off.
There remains temptations to face, habits to redirect, hang-ups to let go of, and regrets to release.
As I keep on writing and thinking about these things it’s not like I totally am in the dark as to where I’m headed. In fairness I do have things in place, shallow as they may be, indicating my direction to an extent on top of walking away from, say, distractions that are taking my time with little to no returns; for these habits in particular, I’ve been going back to my desires to program, and to work on cybersecurity and data science (especially that last item, considering I now have additional equipment that just needs some know-how to set up and repurpose); If I play these ‘games’, I’m pretty sure I’ll have something on value to draw actual additional confidence from, versus just gaming bragging rights. I’m shifting my handling of idleness and boredom, from those habits mentioned, to new, more productive ones.
As for the said temptations… well, there’s prayer. I haven’t been praying as much as I apparently should be praying. After all, in light of what we’ve been talking about regarding trust and casting our cares (i.e. our anxieties and burdens, our way and our works), what better way to do it, than to pray?
It seems to be the catch-all for the moment. When I’m tempted, it’s best for me to pray. When the hang-ups and the what-ifs come to mind, it’s best for me to pray. When the regrets and the condemnation suddenly pop up, it’s best for me to pray.
I think it’s a little risky to be actively aware of what you’re walking away from, only because of the risk you run of walking back to it. Nevertheless I do get how easy it is to do so – after all, that’s the only familiar territory in our walk. Or let me rephrase. The past is the only familiar territory in our walk. But walk we must – forward, and into the unknown. And when I say ‘Unknown’, I’m thinking more on the lines of what is different, and what is new.
And lest I forget, I have the One who loves me with an everlasting love – He is with me, and I am with Him. He loves me, whether I walk or stay still, and even now that I’m putting even more thought into walking, He understands all that is going on in my being, He understands everything my mind is putting into consideration, and oh, how He loves me still.
This is my Savior, after all. Christ is my Savior. Christ is my Anchor, that I may stand upright in the peaks of the tallest mountains, where the winds lash out without mercy. Christ is my Light, that I may keep moving in the bottom of the deepest valleys, where the darkness is just as unrelenting.
He is our Savior, He is MY Savior, present in the temptation, present in the habits, present in the hang-ups, present in the regrets. He is MY Savior, who is with me in the resultant fear, pressure and anxiety, consistent and faithful, continuous in loving, and not mere loving according to our flawed definitions, but bestowing and imparting, expressing and exploding with everlasting love for me and all aspects of my being, just as He is willing and able to do so for each and every other man, woman, and child who believes in Him.
I’ve had this note up on Evernote for longer than I wanted, and I’ve been holding off on working on it, and I think the reason why I’m only working on it today is to see what remains… and what obviously remains, and what obviously endures, is Christ.
I was going to elaborate on the temptations, but it’s the Truth that remains.
I was going to lament on the long-seated habits, but it’s the timeless Savior who endures.
I threw in the failed relationships, and I was probably also going to express my frustrations on these unfortunate events. However, it’s the inseparable union of Christ that comes into my mind today.
I saw the consequences leading to my regrets, and the regrets that amplify the consequences… but it’s the Holy Spirit who reminds me that even during these times, I am righteous and there is no lasting condemnation; I am reminded that God is faithful to make all things work for my good.
Temptations, Habits, Hang-Ups and Regrets – given enough idle time your mind is bound to walk into one or more of these. And more than the thoughts that ensue, I suppose that needs more of the attention and focus – the idle time, and the boredom associated to it. I see it all as the depths without form, in the beginning of time, where there was more than boredom, but confusion and anxiety…
All, before the Maker of all things spoke Light.
And I suppose that’s how I end this.. I won’t be feeling bored for long. The temptations, the habits, the hangups and regrets may be present, but they would not last as long as the rest that our Savior paid such a great price for us to have. I see now how I am only temporarily bored, but always at rest – and I rest upon the eternal Truth, who is my Savior whom I am with now and forever, constantly being reminded and consequently renewed.
I am exhausted from thinking of all this that’s dragging me down, but at the same time I am in awe of the One who is infinitely greater than all my pain, who sees me through all of it.
I AM humbled, for I AM under the mighty hand of my God.
Until the next post, God bless us all.