Finding Peace 1 Peter 5:6-7

Back in middle school, I remember hearing the verse 1 Peter 5:7 in my Sunday school lesson, “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  I have held on to that verse for a very long time. I especially remember praying this verse in seasons of darkness and deep depression, struggling with insomnia and spiritual warfare. I was desperate for relief from my anxiety, praying this verse constantly over my life. Yet I would find myself still asking the question, But how? How do I cast off my anxiety? How do I stop these intrusive thoughts and take captive my mind? How do I receive this rest the Word so clearly promises?

This morning as I was reading this passage, I realized that I had been missing an important part of this verse, the verse that comes right before. Verse 6 states, “Humble yourself before the mighty hand of God.” In context, we see humility as a precursor to peace. I’ve always put the emphasis on putting away my anxiety without realizing my anxiety is an extension of my pride.

“Understanding that even my body was not my own was a hard lesson to learn.”

A deep pain of mine that causes me much anxiety is pregnancy. After suffering three miscarriages it’s quite difficult to not be anxious that first trimester. The first time I was pregnant I remember being excited. It took us so long to get pregnant I thought the wait was over and our time had come. 7 weeks in I started cramping and called my mom panicking. A few hours later the cramps continued to increase, and it was clear: I was experiencing my first miscarriage.

After such a loss I knew my second pregnancy was a sure one. Surely this time things would work out. But life happened and we lost another pregnancy. I was distraught and angry. Angry at God because how could He allow such pain? Doesn’t He love me? Doesn’t He care about my pain? Is it not His plan for us to be fruitful and multiply? I had no control over what my body was doing, only God. Understanding that even my body was not my own was a hard lesson to learn.

My rainbow baby

Fast forward to pregnancy number six, and I am still an anxious mess. This past first trimester I struggled to admit how unhappy I was to be pregnant. My second child was only five months old. I lost my milk and couldn’t breastfeed. My body still hadn’t fully recovered. I had just recently transitioned from working in the hospital to staying at home. I felt like a constant failure trying to do it all. I struggle to give my people all my attention and love. And now we’re adding another precious baby into the chaos. I was overwhelmed and depressed. Now looking back, I can see that deep in my spirit I knew any fantasy I had of “doing it all” was coming to an end real soon. I found myself anxious about all the things to come. Each day’s task carried an extra burden as I tried to imagine adding a newborn into the mix. Will I ever leave this house with three kids three and under? Can all of them fit in a Target buggy? What if this pregnancy fails? Wait, aren’t I supposed to be happy? I felt strained and knew more was required of me. I was going to have to let go even more and that pained me.

“The consequence of my pride was more than I bargained for.”

I wanted to believe that I had a right to be depressed, sad, angry, anxious, stressed. In a way yes, my feelings are very much valid but to let my feeling dictate my being is just not wise. I was not a fun person to be around, and I wanted others to just deal with it. I thought I deserved to wallow because look at how hard my life is right now. I deserve to be catered to; I deserve to be supported in whatever way I saw fit because life was just too hard for me. Can you relate?

The consequence of such an ideology was not what I hoped for. For starters, I had no idea what I wanted or needed to be supported. Secondly, my negativity only drove me to further isolation. Life was a burden not just for me but for my family because they couldn’t leave my mess. My mess didn’t just belong to me. It belonged to my husband and children because I didn’t know how to truly cast my anxieties on the LORD. My husband tried his best to be supportive but after a while, my negativity only made him not want to be around me, not want to come home. My oldest was extra whiny and needy, feeding on my anxiety, likely believing something must be wrong with him for me to be so frustrated and unhappy for so long. Whatever I thought I deserved I did not get. And the consequences of my pride was more than I bargained for.

So how do we cast our anxiety on the LORD? Let’s study this verse together and see what we can learn.

1. Stay Heaven-focused. In the greeting of this book, the first thing Peter reminds them of is that they have a heavenly inheritance, undefiled, waiting for them in heaven that will be revealed in the last days. He wants this truth at the forefront of their minds as he continues to encourage them on how to live as exiles. He points them to the days when their inheritance will be revealed to them. How is this encouraging? Regardless of the suffering they face, this is not the end of the story for them. They have a true living hope that they must cling to. We too live in a broken world. We too experience suffering and loss as a result of sin. We have a real enemy that will use anything to make us believe God doesn’t care about us. Keep your eyes on Jesus and stay in His presence.

2. Humble yourself and repent. Life is hard and none of us are exempt. We are needy people. We need to admit to ourselves and God that we are not okay, we are hurt, angry, scared and we cannot overcome on our own. The quicker we accept our neediness, the easier it is to achieve the peace we long for. Free yourself from the slavery of self-righteousness and self-pity and trust God to strengthen, restore, and establish you. 

3.You are not alone. Your brothers and sisters everywhere are experiencing the same suffering. It’s natural to want to isolate oneself amid suffering. We must reach out to those we trust and allow ourselves to be vulnerable not only with God but with others so that may experience the healing and comfort community brings. Please, sis, do not suffer alone.

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