In Our Hour of Angst

Angst is defined in the dictionary as “a profound feeling of generalized anxiety or dread.”

Now, you know why I chose it instead of worry? In effect, angst is a worry on steroids. Circumstances lately have compounded worry for some. What are we to do about it? God chose Simon Peter, a character who might well have been a living clinic on worry had he not found an antidote for it to write, 

“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

Peter was a fisherman, and knew the language of the profession, chose a term used by seamen, “casting,” to describe an overloaded ship having to throw some of its cargo overboard to survive a storm. That is a beautiful graphic describing what we are to throw overboard, “our care,” and where to throw it, “upon Him,” Jesus.  You can be confident He has the compassion and capacity to handle it, so do it.

An old hymn has this line to describe it.

“All your anxieties, all your cares, take them to the Lord and leave them there.”

This makes it clear that once you take them there, you are to leave them there. To not leave them there implies you don’t trust Him or you don’t think He has the capacity to handle them, as well as you. The fact you have angst indicates you think that by worrying you can resolve an issue. It’s presence indicates you can’t. The fact He has cared for the cares of legions through the centuries proves He can.

Visualize what it is that is causing your angst. Once you have identified, analyze what if anything you can do about it. If there is something you can do about it, set about it at the earliest opportunity to do it.

If there is nothing you can do about it, take it to the Lord and leave it there.

Leaving it there may well present a challenge. Try these mechanics. Get alone with the Lord in a quiet place and talk to Him, out loud if that is comforting. Tell Him, as if He doesn’t know, your angst. Tell Him, as instructed to do, you are giving it to Him. Admit there is nothing you can do about it. Thank Him for relieving you of the cause of the care. Get up, take a deep breath, and physically relax.

Simon Peter, who penned the text, was involved with Jesus in an angst workshop. He was with Jesus on a boat when a storm came up on the Sea of Galilee. Their lives were in peril when they called on Jesus, who promptly calmed the storm. One observation is that when we are in the storms of life, Jesus is there with us. You are not alone. Remember that and let your actions show it.

Anxiety is a small stream flowing through the field of reason which if left unattended becomes a torrent of angst. Let Jesus rid you of it, let that stream dry up. 

Memorize the following as a defense against future tendencies to have angst.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and

supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)