Have you ever felt so afraid you were unable to breathe? Have the worries and busyness of this world ever weighed heavily on your mind? Does Satan really ever attack you in your weak spots (those things we worry most about) to try to destroy your joy?
A few months ago, after an exceedingly hard week both physically and emotionally, I experienced a panic attack in which I could not breathe, felt like I was choking, and my heart was filled with fear. I paced the house, moved from my comfortable bed to the couch, and on to an upstairs bedroom. Still restless, I drank a glass of milk, read my Bible, repeated verses aloud, but nothing seemed to help. Fear gripped at my heart, telling me I was incapable of doing anything. After about three hours of what felt like wrestling with Satan, and finally convinced that I would just quit everything in which I was involved when morning came, sleep finally overtook me.
The next morning, with the dawning of day, the thought came that this might have been an attack from the Deceiver, the Father of Lies, or Satan; but in the darkness of night I was unable to drive him away. With daylight came ease of mind, peace, and strength from the truth of scripture that I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13) and refreshment in the promises of His word and deliverance from all my fears (Psalms 34:4), (Psalms 34:7) I realized how very small from God’s perspective my worries really were and that he was in control of it all. (Psalm 103:19)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. Psalms 91:1-6
Dr. Charles Stanley, from In Touch Ministries, has quoted four ways to keep ourselves from getting to the point of being overwhelmed. He used the acronym HALT:
- H- Don’t let yourself get too hungry, take care of your physical body.
- A- Don’t let yourself get too angry, or emotionally distraught,
- L- Don’t let yourself get too lonely,
- T- Don’t let yourself get too tired.
Even though I may never know if a spiritual battle was actually going on during my restless night (Ephesians 6:12), these things I do know:
- God, the Creator, and great Shepherd (Psalm 23) is able to take care of all of our needs, whether it be physical, financial, emotional, relational or otherwise.
- We are not to fear. Dr Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, says there are 365 verses in the Bible instructing us to not fear. (God knew there are times I would need one for every day!)
Do not fear, do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10
- He will shelter, instruct, and teach with His eye upon us (Psalm 32:7-8).
- His Word reminds us to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9), He is with us wherever we go. He is our refuge, strength, and help (Psalm 46:1).
- God has a plan for our good (Jeremiah 29:11).
- We are to walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
- We are to rejoice always, and pray (I Thessalonians 5:16-17).
- And FINALLY we are not to worry or struggle, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)! His goodness surpasses all our understanding.
About the Writer:
Beverly has been an educator, administrator, educational sales representative, Sunday school teacher, and mentor; but most importantly is a wife, mother, and grandmother with a passion for sharing Christ by serving as Coordinator for Yada Yada.