Panic – the dictionary defines this state as a “sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.” How much does it take to set you into full-blown panic mode? What does God think about panic? If this has ever applied to you, please read on for some helpful advice.
It was 1:30 in the morning. I was enjoying a nice, restful sleep when I was suddenly awakened by my teenage daughter. “Mom, you have to come quick. Lasee’s having a serious problem!” My sleepy brain registered very little at that point other than the panic that filled Brittany’s voice. I hurried out of bed and went downstairs to figure out what was going on. My kids told me that they found a huge spot on the dog’s back, right where a tick had been removed a week earlier. As I struggled to wake up and focus my eyes on the spot, Brittany was already googling emergency vet clinics that might be open in the middle of the night. They were concerned that she had contracted some deadly tick-borne disease and, of course, this required an immediate response. As my mind cleared, I was able to reassure them that this was nothing to panic about. We calmly googled the symptoms of these dangerous diseases and they were able to see that this was probably just an allergic reaction to that tick bite or some other bug bite. Thankfully, after a few days of applying Hydrocortisone, the spot is almost gone.
As I tried to go back to sleep, I was thinking about the situation. My children don’t yet have appropriate panic meters. They think that everything requires a level 10 response. It is easy to criticize them, especially in the middle of the night. But, how often do we employ inappropriate panic meters with God? Sometimes we know we are over-reacting. “God, I have to speak at an outdoor event and there is really high humidity. Would you PLEASE not let my hair frizz?” Even when I am saying those words, I know that it really isn’t worthy of that level of request – and, before you judge me, you probably do it too even if it’s not about your hair!
But, what about those times that we feel justify a level 10 response? We justify panic when real crisis hits: a cancer diagnosis, unexpected job loss, problems with our children, death of someone close to us. I wonder, though, if God thinks these situations deserve a level 10 response.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)
Think about it – God already knew it was going to happen. He wants us to come to Him in prayer and talk about our feelings with Him. Somehow, though, I think that if we truly trust Him, it will take out the panic element. I am not saying that I have this all figured out, but I do know that as I learn to trust Him fully, it brings peace which is the opposite of panic.
It would be nice if trusting God could be delivered through pixie dust in the middle of the night. Click To Tweet But, that doesn’t seem to be the way it works. I think that it is through crisis situations that we really learn what trust and peace look like and gradually our panic meter diminishes.
If this topic helped you, you should check out my new devotional book entitled, “Restful: A 30 Day Adventure Learning to Trust God Completely.” You can purchase a copy on my store page.