Yesterday, you did something you haven’t done in a long time. You wanted to go to the beach, so at last, you went. As you drove the long road east to Playalinda, you felt stress building in your chest. You didn’t consciously ask me to help you, but I was there anyway. You are always in training, so I don’t expect you to get everything right immediately. You did well to take note of how you felt.
In younger days, you were at that beach up to your shoulders in water, and a surge caught you. Suddenly there was no bottom to stand on. You can swim, but you panicked. In your case a taller man was standing right there and put his hand out to you. He then walked you back to where you could stand on your own and left with your deep-felt thanks. On this day on the way to the beach you also had the memory of a recent accident in your extended family where a much beloved young man died after getting caught in a riptide in another state.
Now, as you drove, you were trying to listen to a book on cassette that you just bought at the library sale. The reader spoke with an edge of fear in his voice, and it made you even more nervous, so you pulled over to get your I Phone out of the trunk so you could listen to music. For an instant before you got out of the car you were afraid the gears would slip and the car would roll into the canal that ran next to the road. Isn’t it exciting to discover the deep fears that you carry around with you? That’s all right. As I have promised, when you resist the devil, he will flee from you. Now that you have asked for this healing I will heal you. Working with me is resisting the arch enemy.
The music was lovely, but the discomfort didn’t entirely go away. The cars that whizzed around you as you drove the speed limit generated more fear. You were afraid it made the other drivers mad that you were in their way. You hate to displease people, and that can be another pervasive fear.
As you arrived at the Canaveral National Seashore you needed to use the convenience. The small cement block building had scraps of toilet paper on the floor and smelled dirty. The flush mechanism didn’t work. You understood that park maintenance was most-likely short-staffed. As you snapped the deadbolt another fear sprung up. You wondered if you’d be able to get out. Your mind flashed back to the time when you were a child and ended up locked inside a service-station-bathroom. Your parents’ restaurant next to the garage didn’t have one, so everyone had to use the filling station for an emptying station. While you were locked in the bathroom, the only person within the sound of your voice was “Old Arnold” whom your mother had warned you not to speak to or take candy from. You didn’t want to disturb him to let you out so you looked around and saw the window that opened into the station’s garage. You were small enough to fit through it, so you got up on the back of the toilet, climbed out and hopped onto the hood of a car. Back in the restaurant you told your dad that you had left the door locked. He knew just what to do. He took you back to the garage and gave you a boost onto the car and into the window saying, “Now push against the door with your shoulder and slide the bolt open.” Of course it worked. Dad knew how to fix things. You slid out and exited by the back door. Old Arnold didn’t notice because he was snoozing in the gas- station chair.
Dear one, hearken to me now. Do you recall when you were afraid to let go of fear because you were afraid that if you didn’t have it to protect you something would go wrong and you wouldn’t be ready for it. You developed a habit of trying to predict bad things that might happen. It’s all right to think and plan, but you overreacted. Other things then happened, not the events you had predicted. A lot of people live like that. It doesn’t work, because it’s not my way.
I want you unafraid. Much of the time you are content and satisfied. You have peace and joy. You, however, have, at times, gone from anxiety to fear to terror and needed prayer from the family of God and strong intervention from me. You don’t want to live like that anymore. We are now ready to retrain your mind and replace your toxic thinking with the mind of Christ.
“He was there all the Time”
Switch on Your Brain, by Dr. Caroline Leaf