Through the years of ministry, I have spoken to so many who struggle with fear and anxiety. It can hit like a tidal wave at any moment but the consensus say the middle of the night can be when it strikes the hardest. Ranging anywhere from mild anxiety that keeps their minds from resting to sheer panic that wakes them up in a flash of terror. Then the mental barrage of worse-case scenarios, what-if’s and all the questions…..Who? What? When? Where? Why?
I’ve had these moments myself and watched a pattern in my mental behavior that was completely opposite of how I live and what I believe. So I asked the Lord to show me what my response should be when those moments strike. I’ve shared before that I am learning to stop, take a deep breath and turn the focus from me or my problem or the scenario, and begin focusing on and speaking out truth and praise:
Who God is.
What He has done.
When He has come through in the past.
Where He wants to take me.
Why He has given me grace.
Psalms 63:6-8 gives us a pleasant alternative to those middle of the night panic sessions.
“I lie awake thinking of you (God),
Meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
Your strong right hand holds me securely.”
I think God knew we would be prone to worry and fret. He also knows that the enemy of our souls is especially nocturnal…. he thrives in the darkness. When we practice turning our minds and thoughts to God, we are letting the light shine in the darkness and the reward is peace.
It’s the peace of God that guards our hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
What a beautiful benefit He has given us in knowing Him and choosing to think of Him, even when anxiety and fear try to rule our hearts.
We are held securely in Him. What peace! And what a reason to praise!