If I'm filled with anxiety, my mind is on myself
constantly. I'm wrapped up in my own little world. I can't be
sensitive to others because I'm not thinking about others. I can
turn my attention to loving other people only after I obey 1
Peter 5 verse 7:
Cast all of your cares upon Him for He cares for you.
Play It Again, Mark
In college I had a Christian friend named Mark--a superb piano
player. One night as Mark played for a group of students in a
dining hall, he suddenly said, "I won't play anymore." The
students urged him to continue, but he stood and repeated, "I
won't play anymore." Then he left. Because of the strange
abruptness of his departure, I followed him out and asked if
anything was wrong. "I became the center of attention," Mark
replied, "and I don't want to become proud."
Actually, being the center of attention is not necessarily
wrong. Jesus was the center of attention almost constantly. The
key difference is that Jesus wasn't the center of his own
attention. He wasn't thinking about Himself; He was thinking about
helping those around Him.
Mark became proud, not by becoming the center of people's
attention, but by becoming the center of his own attention. Mark
received an anxious thought, and anxiety always turns our focus
inward. If Mark had cast his anxiety upon the Lord, he would have
been free to continue playing the piano for the benefit of the
Have Another Worry
Once when my wife Marcy and I were in graduate school, a friend
named Vicky knocked on our apartment door. As I opened the door,
Vicky burst into tears. We invited her in for lunch, and she began
to share her worries about a possible breakup with her boyfriend.
She was anxious about facing the future without him. After
listening to Vicky's story, Marcy and I shared with her about
casting her cares upon the Lord. She did. Boyfriend or no
boyfriend, she put herself and her future in the hands of a wise
and loving Father. Her countenance immediately changed.
She laughed and talked with us for another hour or so. However,
when she picked up her books to leave, I noticed her countenance
fall again. Stopping her, I asked what thought had just entered
her mind. "I'm suddenly afraid the peace I have now won't last,"
she replied. Do you see what the enemy was trying to do? Even
before she got out of our apartment, he was saying to her, "Here,
have another worry."
Anxiety is never justified in God's sight. Cares about our love
life, our future, our work, our finances, our marriages, our kids,
etc. must all be cast upon the Lord. When we hold onto a
care, we take the problem out of God's hands. Consciously or
subconsciously, we are choosing to handle that matter on our own.