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.