The Maze of My Life, Part 5: The Panic

The first part of the maze was a black tunnel.  I don’t like black tunnels, and I was starting to get skitterish.  On the TV’s I’d seen, everything looked a whole lot lighter–of course.  The screens were using “night vision”.

I was still feeling uneasy until an animatronic hand reached out right in front of me.

Goodbye, uneasy.  Hello, panic.

I’d had anxiety for years, but in college I started having panic attacks. When Dad was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, my panic attacks ratcheted up and I was totally afraid of my world spinning out of control.

A panic attack is basically the idea that you have no control over what is going to happen, and that something is happening you would want control over.  The degree of the attack depends on how badly you don’t want the thing to happen that is happening.  A panic attack over turning an assignment in late in college, for example, was easier for me to handle than a panic attack because my father had died.

Panic attacks became like a best friend I never wanted.  They hung around all the time, threatening to lash out at any time.  I would have almost no control over them.   They could happen on bright sunny days or lonely black nights.  And they were bad, bad, bad.

A panic attack really is a lot like having an animatronic hand reaching for you.  Like a robot, the panic attack was totally unfeeling.  There would be no pleading for mercy.  And like a hand reaching out in a black and scary place, I never knew where the panic attack was going to drag me.

God changed my life when He intervened like the hand of a Father, pulling me out of a dark and scary place.  The panic attacks vanished with His Presence.  In the few years since my commitment to Christ, I have had one panic attack, and it was well-founded.  I had read a book about Hell that nearly unwound me.  Thinking about my friends . . . thinking about anyone going there . . . nearly undid me.  What I had to come to was the realization that God is every bit as loving as I believe He is, and that I don’t know the full story about Hell.

If I was going to have a panic attack, I would want it to be something about people’s souls.  No more panic attacks worrying about myself.  I’ve had some stressful times since my salvation.  I’ve had bad news, trouble, and heartache.  But I haven’t had a panic attack, except that one.  I just, I don’t have to fear an animatronic hand reaching for me anymore, because I know my Father’s hand is stronger and has a tighter grip on me.  So when I’m afraid, when I’m anxious, when I’m frustrated . . . I know He is there.  In fact, I feel God’s Presence the most often when I am in a valley.

Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. (Psalm 144:7, NLT)

Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. (Psalm 69:14, NLT)

You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. (Psalm 31:4, NASB)

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. (Psalm 18:16, NLT)
Even though I walk into the middle of trouble, you guard my life against the anger of my enemies. You stretch out your hand, and your right hand saves me. (Psalm 138:7, GWT)

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See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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