A couple nights ago I was walking through my apartment getting ready to call it a night. I had shut everything down, locked my door (and checked it a few times, anyone else a little OCD?), set my alarm, and was wrapping up a conversation with my one of my closest friends. A pretty easy, peaceful way to end the night.
As I walked through the doorway to my bedroom, I caught a glimpse of my shadow on the wall through the crack between the door and the frame. (Important side note: this had never happened before, and I live alone, so this couldn’t have been a roommate or friend waiting to scare me.) Seeing this, my first instinct – for some reason – was to hit the floor and yell a couple of choice words (sorry mom).
Shortly after falling flat on my butt to try to scramble away from whatever was behind my door, I thought through the fact that there was no way it could be another person. Like I said, I had checked my door and set my alarm. Nobody was in my house. But my mind automatically went to the worst-case scenario and I reacted as if that was truth.
While that’s a minor (and pretty comical) situation, it made me think of how we deal with some of the things life throws our way. Isn’t it funny how the enemy tries to convince us that the smallest things are big, scary monsters that we should be afraid of?
Sometimes, attacks from the enemy, or even everyday struggles, can be some of the scariest things. I struggle with this a lot when I feel like I might be getting sick. Even the smallest thing can sometimes cause me to dwell on my past illnesses and worry that this small issue might turn into something huge.
But something God has challenged me with lately is that this response of panic signifies a much deeper issue. Immediate reactions of fear and worry indicate a lack of trust that the Lord will provide what you need.
How can I claim to trust God when my gut reaction to a sore throat or a sluggish day is panic? Even further, if I’m busy flying to the mountains for safety, how can I be prepared to fight off attacks from the enemy when he tells me that my God is not powerful enough to handle whatever it is that I’m afraid of?
Scripture tells us that when we trust in the Lord, we will be kept in perfect peace. When we’re dwelling on what could be – accepting worst-case scenarios as truth – it’s exactly the opposite. Our minds fill with worry. Maybe we get a little panicky and start to feel anxious. Maybe we overthink things and become preoccupied with the coulds of it all until there’s nothing logical left to focus on.
One of the most common deceits of the enemy is to try and persuade us that there is no way things can go right. He begins to isolate us and attempts to have us believe that the only possible outcome leaves us helpless, hopeless, and distant from God.
You’ve been praying about this for so long. Where is God now, huh? Sure, he sent his Son to die on the cross, but can he really save you from that? Does he care to? His promises might be true for other people, but not for you. Nope. He can’t get you through this one.
Sound familiar? That perfect peace sounds pretty good right about now, huh?
In spite of what our enemy would have us believe, we can have peace that God will carry us through whatever we are facing. When we are trusting in him, we have enough peace to be able to face an attack from the enemy, call it what it is, and shut it down with truth.
We can have peace that he will complete the process he is using to refine us. We can have peace that the ins and outs of our daily lives are already taken care of, and that the attacks of the enemy are futile at best because our God is faithful and victorious and has already overcome.
The need to panic is gone. The need to obsess over our problems until they consume our lives is dead. Fear is conquered.
Maybe the process doesn’t look like you thought it would, or maybe you’ve been struggling with something for so long that you find it difficult to believe it will ever end. We all have something. But whatever your something is, take refuge in the faithfulness of the Lord and know that he will bring you peace.
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