Going through my ritual review of emails early one morning, I came across this comment from a gentleman: “I can think of no bigger faith builder than panic disorder. If that is indeed the case, that our faith is being strengthened by this condition, then it is the biggest blessing we could ask for from God.”
I must admit, this is not a comfortable statement. To declare panic attacks a “blessing from God” might seem ludicrous at first. Yet, I must grudgingly confess that my faith is stronger now than it has ever been.
Why? My faith has grown because I am learning to trust God totally, with all my heart, in every area of my life. I am growing to trust him more and more each day. When the fear begins to rise up within me, I could pour energy into fighting it, but I’ve lost that battle too many times. I am learning to trust God and rest during that adrenaline rush. To do that takes faith–faith that God will hold me and keep me safe no matter what happens.
One night I lay in bed, struggling with these mental intrusions. I was so tired, yet my mind was racing. I could feel the fear welling up within me. Next to me, my wife prayed. She knew.
As I lay there ready to leap out of bed, I thought to myself, I could run and give into the fear. Or, I could stay here and trust God. My body buzzed with adrenaline. My legs and arms tingled with fear. Running was the natural response. Yet, God’s voice encouraged me to be still and trust.
Faintly, I prayed, “Lord, help me. Help me trust you more.” The next thing I knew, the alarm went off in the morning. I awoke to a day filled with faith and confidence in my Father. He strengthened me and gave me peace, because I trusted him.
What we experience here on earth–no matter what it may be–should draw us closer to our Father. We must not focus on the problems and circumstances around us. Rather, we must look to our Father for strength and courage.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Prayer: Father, if my fear has brought me closer to you, then I will count it a blessing–and not only anxiety, but any trial which works to build my faith and store up lasting treasures in heaven.