Knowing the crippling power of a panic attack, I can relate to the need for a diversion or safety net. A diversion is anything that distracts your mind from an attack. A safety net, or safety valve, is anything that you cling to during an attack. These are natural responses to the terror of panic.
My diversion used to be alcohol. I could numb the fears with a few beers. Though I thought the alcohol provided an escape, it was really more of an anesthetic. And my cell phone was my safety valve.
In both cases, I placed my hope and my trust in “things.” If my cell phone battery failed, I would panic. When the beer wore off the next morning, I was jittery and nervous. These worldly diversions and safety nets provided a vain hope for peace.
Slowly, I began to realize that I needed something solid and steadfast to hold on to–something that would not wear off or run down, something that could weather the storm of fear and panic.
My ability to trust God began to grow. He became my refuge in time of trouble. I could run to him when the terror filled my mind. Eventually, I ran to him instead of a beer or cell phone. When I allowed God to build my refuge of rest, I knew nothing could tear it down.
When you build worldly refuges, you labor in vain. All energy and effort put forth in these diversions and safety nets will be wasted.
Let God build your house of hope.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain” (Psalms 127:1a).
Prayer: Father, I have labored in vain, placing my energy and trust in a worldly refuge. Forgive me. Help me to cease my striving, to lay down my safety nets and diversions, placing all of my hope and trust in you alone.