These words are so much easier said than done. Do not be anxious? Yeah, right. Summer is over and Fall is here meaning there is so much to be anxious about. For those of you whose livelihood depends on the rain that we didn’t get enough of, that could cause anxiety. Those of you that have children or grandchildren going back to school; might be causing anxiety. Do you have any relationships? Platonic, romantic, family? People in general often cause us anxiety.
So what is Paul doing telling us not to be anxious about anything? Well it isn’t just Paul that says this. Peter says this in his first letter, too: “[cast] all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). It is even noted in all of the Gospels that Jesus himself tells us not to be anxious. Two examples:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”
Pay attention that Jesus uses the term “anxious” – merimnaó in Greek which means not to be over-anxious to the point of distraction. Neither Jesus, nor Paul, nor Peter are telling you to be uncaring about life, your vocation, your family and friends; rather they are all writing to remind you where your anxieties and worries can be sent! Lay them all on Jesus. When you do feel anxious or worried about your future, pray. When you are running around going to this, that, and the other thing, pray. When you are fed up with people, pray.
In doing so, know this: That Christ hears your prayers. He hears them and do you know how He responds? He continues to give you breath. In your moments of stress and anxiety, pray first, then breathe knowing each breath is a precious gift from God. Each breath is another moment of life that you have been granted to live.
Know that God cares for the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and everything in between. How much more do you think He loves you, a child that He has called His own!
Pray. Breathe. Hear Christ’s promise that is for you: You are a child of God. Called by the waters of baptism, forgiven in His body and blood.
This is most certainly true.