I Peter 5:7 -- "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
"Tiny ants pick a carcass clean more surely than a lion does." That seems like a strange statement to start out with. But it is true. A lion will tear away the best part of a kill, but the ants will stay with the carcass until there is nothing left but dry bones. And it proves a point. We glibly quote the verse, "Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you." (NIV), but when it comes to putting it to practice, that is another matter. We cry out to God when some big trouble comes along. We rest in the assurance that He will help us. We know He will. He has helped us out of other crises. So then, why is it so hard for us to trust God to look after the little daily worries in life? The fretting pressure of small worries will rob our heart of its peace and joy even more quickly than big problems can.
God tells us that we are to be anxious for NOTHING. Have you ever considered the fact that anxiety is SIN? I had never really thought about it as being a sin, just a weakness known to all mankind, non-Christian and Christian alike. It is a common view that anxious care is natural and even an innocent aspect of life. Most of us, as Christians, would be horrified if we were told that we were indulging in a secret sin because we have anxiety. But God calls it SIN. It is a weakness not to be pitied, but a sin to be renounced.
The root of anxiety is a distrust of God. Could any of us, for one moment, be anxious about our health, or money matters, or our future, if we really believe with all our heart in the perfect wisdom and perfect love of our Heavenly Father? Could we ever again have a care about the things of this life if we truly believed Jesus when He said, (Matthew 6:33) "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” ?
The story is told of a father, who asked his young son to go upstairs to the library and bring him a certain book. The boy was gone for a very long time. Finally the father decided to go check on the boy to see what was holding him up. He found his son on the top step, crying his eyes out. The father said, "Son, what's wrong?" To this the boy replied, "Oh Daddy, the book was so heavy I couldn't carry it." His father picked up the book that the boy had dropped, and lifting the boy into his arms, he carried them both down the stairs. The boy's tears dried up, and his burden was gone. The father was now carrying it.
Psalm 68:19 -"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens" (NIV) Anxiety, or care, is spoken of three times in the Lord's public ministry. He not only referred to it, He strictly forbade it. The first mention of Jesus having talked about anxiety is in His Sermon on the Mount. He spoke of it many times over (Matthew 6:25-34) : He admonishes us not to worry about our daily living--what we shall eat or drink, or what we shall put on our backs. He used the birds as an example of trust. They don't worry that the wind might blow them out of the sky, or that there may not be food or water for them. And what about the lilies in the fields? They don't stew about whether the sun shines, or the rain falls, or whether they will be uprooted. They just grow. Jesus instructs us that our Father in heaven is looking after all these things. He tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Today is all we have been given.
The Lord refers again to anxiety, in the middle of His ministry. (Matthew 13:22) He taught the lesson of the seed which grew among the thorns. As thorns can destroy the good seed, so can anxieties destroy our souls.
And as Christ's ministry on earth was drawing near to the end, He again talked about anxiety. He told His disciples to "be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with . . . anxieties of this life." (Luke 21:34--NIV) Paul carries on Christ's teachings, (Philippians 4:6) : "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." The New International Version puts it this way, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." And in verse 7, Paul goes on to say this "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ."
No. We may fool ourselves all we like about anxiety being just a human weakness. It is NOT. It is unbelief in God, and UNBELIEF is not only a SIN, but one of the WORST and most DEADLY SINS there is. Let us not let the tiny ants pick away at our life. If we cry to God when the lions come roaring into our lives, let us also cry to Him to keep the daily ants away from destroying our lives.
I remember a song we used to sing in Sunday school. It went like this:
"Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there.
Leave it there. Leave it there.
Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there.
(Some of my information was taken from a sermon by Rev. George Barrett, D.D. in "Sunday At Home 1898_99")
© Helen Dowd