Last year, I sat in the passenger’s seat while my friend drove through the crowded parking lot in a shopping mall during the Christmas season. “Did you see what that guy did?” she screamed, “he pulled right in front of me.”
I gasped, more frightened by her frantic voice. And after I took a deep breath, I listened to her ranting and emotionally-charged condemning phrases.
No criticism on my part because I was just like her. When I encountered a sudden, negative surprise I became a mess; I turned into an explosion of emotion.
That was then. And now I’m aware of the choices and know the difference: reacting through human emotions, or responding through God’s power at work in me.
And because of the wonderful wisdom that taught me the difference, this story told by an evangelist made me smile. I hope it will do the same to you.
Some years ago my husband was traveling in Europe, and he would leave me alone with only my maid in a large house, far from neighbors. One night, after my habitual reading of the Bible and prayers, I went to bed. As soon as I entered our room, I saw, in the mirror, the reflection of a man hiding behind the wardrobe. I was terrified and thought of screaming for help, but I knew it would be useless. Determined to trust in God, I walked with trembling legs, with as brave a heart as possible, took my Bible that was on top of a small table and sat in the chair nearby. I started to read in a loud voice chapter 53 of Isaiah, and then knelt down and started to pray asking God for His protection against thieves and every kind of evil. Then I got up and sat in the chair again. I felt a hand touch my shoulder and a voice saying: “Don’t be afraid. You are safe. I came here to rob this house, but this chapter is the one my mother used to read to me, and your prayer reminded me of her prayers. I am going away now. You don’t need to be afraid of anything.”
The battle is not between good and evil. Or with safety or danger. It’s not even a question of reaction or action. The battle is choosing to go with our emotions, or go with the ever-present power of God that abides in us.
So when the thief breaks in to steal our peace, our soul declares: “The LORD shall preserve you from all evil. He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth and even forevermore” (Psalm 121:7-8).
Father, thank you for giving us the weapon to shield from danger, to rob evil of its strength, and for putting within our reach the power of your Word. In Jesus’s name, amen.
- What unpleasant surprise have you faced lately?
- What emotions rose to the top?
- How do you prepare for danger?
I invite you to dance with me—celebrating my new book, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy here and tell your friends too.
Contagious Courage: A 30-day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety
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