By Allison Gingras
What do you do with your anxieties? St. Peter in his first letter advises to “cast all your anxieties upon Him because He cares for you.” St. Peter was a fisherman and used giant nets, tossed or cast over the side of the boat, to catch fish. Once the net was cast, he did nothing more to the net. He did not jiggle it or pull it in every few minutes to see if anything was in it. He waited. That’s great; he knows about nets but what experience did he have with anxiety?
I believe St. Peter’s advice evolved from a very special moment of really bad fishing and Jesus’s miraculous assistance in the 21st chapter of John’s Gospel.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
How concerned Peter must have been to fish all night with nothing to show. There were mouths to feed and a living to be made. Yet, in his hour of need, even though he did not recognize Jesus nor perhaps trust in this stranger’s plan, Peter cast his net. By just being there, Jesus revealed His care.
I cast my cares on Jesus as well; however, I use a fishing pole. Some of the problems I am casting out seem so insignificant I feel guilty bothering Jesus and reel them back in. Other times, the concern feels big enough to throw onto God but if the response is not quick enough, I again reel it back in. Other times I get even more anxious, worrying I am wasting my prayer (aka think fairy godmother three wishes) for something I can probably handle on my own and should wait to bug Jesus with something more important in the future.
Jesus appearing during St. Peter’s crisis illustrated that not only does he know about anxieties, but also wants to help us and maybe even beyond our wildest expectations. When I do cast my worries, even if unsure of the outcome but willing to trust without reeling them back in, then I am blessed to experience the incredible love and care Christ has for me.
About the Author:
Allison Gingras is founder of Reconciled To You and host of A Seeking Heart on Breadbox Media weekdays at 10 a.m. ET. Allison blogs, writes and speaks about living an every-day life of faith. She created the Words With daily devotional app series, Words with Jesus, and offers presentations on forgiveness, trust, and lessons from the Blessed Mother.
Such abandon and exuberant joy is depicted by the person in the photo. Oh how I daily pray for such feelings to overtake me. Bearing the cross of several psychiatric disorders wears me down. Your reflection, Allison, reminds me true peace and contentment will come only from the Lord. Our blessed Mother always stands ready to help, as well as the saints who have come before us.
Susan. Here is another Scripture verse to add to your prayers that seem to fit your message perfectly. And Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Lay them down, as many times as you need to each day. And try like me not to reel them back in. Just keep putting them down. Praying for you today my friend!
Wonderfully said. Also Our Jesus is so patience in our fishing process. Jesus will wait for us to totally cast It overboard for good into his hands
Amen Janet!!! VERY Patient … thankfully!
Oh, how I can relate! I have been a worrier my whole life (I’m now 61 yrs. old). My anxiety really escalated when my daughter was born with major health problems and we almost lost her during the first few weeks of her life. She was sick off and on growing up and I was, and still am, worried about her. I had a major nervous breakdown about 20 years ago. My daughter has grown to be a wonderful young woman with a husband and child of her own. I have such a hard time trusting God. I think it stems from my unanswered prayer of having a healthy baby which I prayed for the minute I knew I was pregnant. I’m always waiting for “the other shoe to drop”. I’m terrified over something bad happening. I feel like such a failure as a Christian because I feel like this.
Well if that makes you a failure, then I am too. However, I do not see either of us that way!! While God makes it clear he does not want us to worry – He mentions this over 365 times in the Bible! It is like telling us ONCE A DAY — I gotcha girl!! We are still human, and we are going to worry! I have taken to memorizing a couple of those 300+ verses to repeat to myself when I feel I am starting to spiral into woe. One of my favorites is “Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan.” OOH Good One Lord! The answer is, of course, NO! Ha ha .. trust me I’ve tried 🙂 Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your experiences – please know of my prayers for you, your daughter and her family!
Allison, I just read your reply to my post. Thank you for your love, prayers, and understanding!
That is what we are here for … to lift each other. No journeying alone!
It always comes down to waiting for the Lord to respond to our prayers which usually involve our anxieties here on earth. Patience is not something that comes easily to me, but when I remember to know that all things work out for my good (in God’s eyes), then I am able to muster up some patience and just wait…
Very refreshing to think that I can cast everything on him AND not reel it back! Jesus, I trust in the.
Hi Allison, Very very insightful and a blessing to me today!.
One of the interesting side inspirations I received is in the phrase “on the RIGHT side of the boat.” Not “port” or “starboard,” but the “right side.” So often I cast out on the “wrong” side of the boat, the worldly side, and like many petitioners, my prayers don’t go where they’re supposed to. Nor do they gather what I need. I ask for things, for situations, for events that have no real significance to my life in this world or in the next. The right side is for the spiritual resources I need (instead of fish food), His Body and Blood for the journey to heaven. May this meditation remind me that Jesus knows where I should cast my net of prayers in order to gather the graces I need.
Thank you for your meditation; it prompted mine. Jesus is casting His eyes on both of us. So grateful. Amen.
Fly fishing is more my analogy…cast and pull back, repeat, repeat, ad nauseum.
What a timely topic. My mind went to all ranges of scenarios today as I went to an Orthopedic doctor. For the last five months I have suffered with back hip/pelvic pain since I fell hard getting out of my daughter’s van. My foot slipped on the ice and my bum followed. I envisioned everything from a steroid shot to a body cast. I was very concerned that my back pelvic bone had a bruise or hairline fracture.
I kept talking to Jesus, asking for peace as I waited to find out what was in my future. Praise God1 He blessed me with the best case scenario outcome; my bones are perfectly fine, and my pain is from an inflamed hip tendon. A steroid shot, which didn’t even hurt thanks for a freezing anesthetic, was the solution. I attribute this awesome outcome to God who protected me as I helped my daughter in her time of crisis with a rough third trimester, and unable to care for her 2 year old toddler.
I really need to get rid of my wader boots, and my fly fishing whiplash habit. Thanks for this timely topic.