If you have ever had a panic attack, you know the terrible feeling that you just cannot get enough air and the light-headedness that follows. I used to have panic attacks frequently, particularly in large crowds or heavy traffic. Diagnosed as agoraphobic (fear of crowded spaces), I was told I could overcome the fear or it would overcome me. Well, since fear is not part of God’s desires for me, I chose to overcome the fear. How? Be taking deep breaths and saying a prayer before I faced a difficult situation and by making sure that my husband was nearby until I felt comfortable.
Today’s Scripture verse reminded me of the hard times I went through about thirty years ago as I dealt with a fear that could be debilitating except for God’s grace and power.
The devotional itself reminded me of the tactics I used to make it through the difficulty of being in a crowd. Jeanette Blackmer who wrote today’s devotional for “Mornings with Jesus” said that when you are afraid, you should say a “breath prayer.” Breathe in slowly and say, “Jesus is with me.” Then exhale slowly and say, “God created me and is with me.” Or, of course, any other short prayer that you want to say. I realized when I read the devotional that this is almost exactly what the Holy Spirit had led me to do during my fear phase. Overcoming fear means to let Go and allow God to occupy the space that fear has been occupying. Let God in and fear flees. No great wisdom, but it was a great help to me and I hope that some of you will see the practicality in this simple solution to fear.
Have a blessed Sunday and may you find a good church to worship God, our Maker and Restorer, today.