Prescription for a Panic Attack

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!  Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’”  (Psalm 3: 1, 2)

As David writes this psalm he is facing the greatest crisis of his life.  His son has turned the entire nation against him and driven him out of Jerusalem into the wilderness where he once hid from King Saul when he was a young fugitive.  His situation is so desperate that many people said even God could not help him.  But in this psalm David explains how he knows God will be there for him – he is not having a panic attack so he gives us a prescription for one.

Observe the way David uses three tenses as he lays out his prescription that keeps him from panicking.  He recalls that in the past there were many times when he cried out to God and the Lord heard him.  When he laid down to sleep not knowing if the enemy would slit his throat while he was sleeping, he awoke alive because the Lord sustained him.  He then declared that he will not be afraid of the thousands of people who wanted to see him dead.  He then declares in the present tense that God is with him and His present blessing is upon him.

When you are in crisis think back to times in the past when God met you and brought you through a crisis.  Then let those past answered prayers inspire you to trust God for the present and the future crises in your life.

Look back.  With faith, look forward.  Then look around at your present circumstances, not with panic but with faith and peace.

Dick Woodward, 18 March 2012

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