Nights Choked With Fear

If you struggle with anxiety, you know panic attacks can come at any time. They are difficult to cope with. They seem, during the moment, to be impervious to logic and encouragement. Anxiety disorders, panic, or emotional trauma appear to have a mind of their own. There are no light and easy answers to them.   

Turmoil can build at the end of the day, especially when the future is a vulnerable unknown. The day’s trials and distractions are done. Evening draws to a close. A cloud descends and visits the heart with heavy pressure. Its clutch on us is palpably present and it does not want to let go.

Whether emotional trouble or a particular disorder, torments of fear have a way of coloring our view of the world. Whatever the actuality of circumstance, things seem changed. What is bad is terribly worse, what was fine is now horrible.

It is helpful to know God is not only the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8). He is the same morning, noon, or in the deep of night. He is the same when the alarm clock blares at daybreak and anxiety greets us in its immediacy or when we cannot sleep at 3 AM. God has not changed when the day’s activities become paralyzed with the mental and physical storm of a full blown panic attack affecting all our senses. Our emotions do not define God or His everlasting truth.

Our almighty Father transcends all things. He is in control, ruling everything seen and unseen with infinite power. Yet, such a capable and potent hand is not remote or abstract. If we are among the redeemed of Christ, His tender, compassionate eye is on His children in the deepest intimacy (Luke 12:7). He cares for us dearly. He does so actively in compassion, not in disinterested detachment, as we seek His face in faith and cry out in our pain.

Our emotions may have highs, lows, valleys, and pits. They may be severe or an agitating undercurrent. That closing of each day, when the dark of night creeps in so full of our anxieties, can bring the squeeze of a choking heart. Yet, this does not alter our safety. God remains wonderfully the same. Beautifully perfect, utterly holy, an anchor of trust and rest. All worship and praise to our great God, in the sweet name of Jesus.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? (Psalm 27:1)

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)

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