No Longer Afraid
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19
All I wanted was to go to sleep. Sleep would dull the headache and maybe the heartache too. Sleep would ease the pounding in my chest and the queasiness in my stomach. But when my eyes opened the lump in my throat remained. The tears dried but the fears remained. How would my family recover from the loss of my aunt? Would I get cancer too? Would my teenage world ever be the same?
This became a pattern in my life. Tight chest. Queasy stomach. Aching head. My fight or flight response was simple; “I’m going to bed.”
So it was as I sat on the biopsy table waiting for the procedure to begin. I fidget with my ring and avoid my husband’s eyes. I ponder my escape from the room and the inevitable diagnosis. Sleep seems unlikely at the moment but I lay back on the table anyway and begin to pray. “Lord, I am so afraid. Afraid of the needle. Afraid of the results. Why is this happening God, what does it mean?
Science teaches us that “fight or flight” are our two options when things begin to threaten our status quo. Maybe you are like me and have experienced both fight and flight. Our imaginations bend us towards the worst-case scenario and that leads us to “flight.” But our independence gives us a faulty reliance on our own strength and we are ready to “fight.”
The author of the 94th Psalm knew there was a better way. “Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, my foot is slipping, your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” Psalm 94:17-19.
Like the Psalmist, we are limited in our abilities to conquer life’s stresses on our own. The longer we try, the further we will fall into a pit of despair. But when we put our trust in the unfailing love of God, we can rest assured knowing that He’s got our backs.
Still on the table, my husband’s voice startled me out of my prayers. “Baby, I am so proud of you, you never even flinched!” I opened my eyes shocked to see that the biopsy was complete. I never even heard the doctor enter the room. God was with me on that table. His presence filled the very space I occupied and for the first time, I learned what it meant to trust in Him.
Now, when my heart begins to quicken and fear threatens to set in, I remember:
I can trust God because he loves me with an unfailing love.
I can face fears because God alone is in control.
I can do hard things because God is with me and He is the source of my strength.
When we make the choice to trust God, he bathes us in His presence bringing comfort to our souls and peace to our hearts.