Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7-
Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA pageant and a correspondent for the entertainment news program “Extra,” has died at age 30 by suicide. Police said Kryst jumped from a Manhattan apartment building and was pronounced dead at the scene on the morning of January 30th. Kryst was a former Division I athlete and North Carolina attorney.
What would cause such an accomplished and beautiful person to jump from the 64th floor of a Manhattan building? What were the warning signs of her mental struggles? Did she seek help? Were people in her inner circle aware of her mental health issues?
When something this tragic occurs, those who are alive are left asking many questions that cannot necessarily be answered. No one will ever be able to answer the why of this tragedy? What we can do is become more aware of those in our sphere of influence who are struggling with mental health issues. We must be sensitive to the increased level of stress brought on by Covid and how many people are struggling to cope mentally.
In today’s text, the apostle Peter is teaching Christians scattered throughout the northern areas of Asia Minor practical skills for dealing with anxiety. He wanted to provide encouragement to believers who faced persecution because of their faith in Christ. Peter knew how challenging it was to remain hopeful in challenging times.
What does it mean to cast our anxieties on Christ? How do we do that? It means trusting God to help us overcome our mental health challenges. We do so through prayer and meditation on the word; and accepting the help of mental health professionals and our loved ones. However, we must share our mental struggles with others so they can pray for us, encourage us, and help us get professional help.
Depending on the magnitude of the mental health crisis, there should be a quick cry for health. People who are struggling with mental health issues should not suffer in silence, especially Christians. Many people do not realize how much emphasis scripture places on mental health. There are over 109 Bible verses that deal with mental health. Jesus addressed the issue of mental health throughout His ministry. In John 14:1, He told His disciples, do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. In Matthew 11:29-30, Jesus told His disciples: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
God wants us to have mental, physical, and spiritual health. The church of Jesus Christ should do a better job at ministering to those who are struggling with mental health issues. In addition to prayer, we must provide support and encouragement in the context of love. After all, it takes a village to help someone overcome mental health issues.
For brothers and sisters who are struggling with mental health issues, I want to encourage you to give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. God will use mental health professionals, prayer warriors, family members, friends, and others to take care of you. He will not allow you to be overcome if you give him your burdens. So, when you feel like you are “losing it” pray and reach out to someone you trust and feel led to call. There are angels in our midst assigned by God just to help you. That angel may be a parent, a sibling, a good friend, a therapist, or a fellow believer. Remember, we have not because we ask not. So please ask for help!
Questions for Personal Reflection
How do you cope with a mental health crisis?
What does it mean to you to cast your cares on God?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I intercede on behalf of those struggling with mental health crises. Please remind them they can give you their burdens, and you will take care of them. Sensitize my heart to the struggles of brothers and sisters who are contemplating suicide. Help me to be more intentional in ministering with love and compassion so I can be a bridge to those who are going over the troubled waters of mental health issues.