The end of Deuteronomy…the blessings pronounced by Moses on the people of Israel…and one of my favorite psalms.
I’ve been in a funk this past week. There is no other way to describe it except that I’m like the little boy on Peanuts who always had a cloud hanging over his head. The health care vote did not help my state of mind. Neither did a passage I came across in a Christian book about anxiety that said that panic attacks are sinful. Obviously, the person who wrote the book has never experienced one or he would know that they are unpredictable and occur without warning. They are not always the result of “bad thinking,” or of dwelling on those things that are of this world. There have been times that a panic attack has struck me while I’ve been in the middle of praise and worship, hands lifted high, and a little blip makes my heart jump and my chest squeezes painfully. I’ve always thought those were distractions that Satan throws in my path. But the panic attacks also occur when I wake up suddenly at night from a dead sleep. How can it be sin to experience something that begins in sleep?
“Anxiety is blatant distrust of the power and love of God.”
-John MacArthur, Jr., Anxiety Attacked
Thank goodness I know how to think and study scripture for myself, because this is one book that I will need to read with my thinking cap. I tell myself that I am in the Lord’s care. I tell myself that I have no need to fear. I tell myself to be strong and courageous. I tell myself to be anxious for nothing. I’ve literally said that verse out loud while my teeth chattered in my head and my legs shook so hard I had to sit down. Clearly, the kind of attacks I experience are outside the realm of anything I can fix BY MYSELF. But the Lord Jesus…HE can heal me. He WILL heal me. Of that I have no doubt.
So. My melancholy mood came upon me even as I read the words of my favorite psalm:
“The Lord says,
I will rescue those who love me,
I will protect those who trust in my name.”
Tears welled up in my eyes, and inwardly I cried out to the Lord and asked him how in the world he will rescue me from myself? At this point, my greatest enemy is me.
Nevertheless, I know he will. He is in control. He is the Author and the Perfecter, and one day even my panic attacks will be defeated. Perhaps on the other side, when I get to be with Jesus…perhaps today or tomorrow. In the meantime, as I wait patiently and not so patiently, I ask him to hurry! Fix me, heal me through the Word that is alive…the Word that cuts like a sword through the darkness. And so He will.