The room begins to close in on you. You feel suffocated in your inner most being. Your heart begins to race – your mouth is dry – your hands begin to tremble – your breathing becomes heavy and almost chokes you. The hair on the back of your neck bristles and you feel faint. This is how you feel when you experience fear.
I think I first began to fear small spaces when I was about the age of five and was locked in a linen closet by my one year old sister. I don’t recall what mischief we were up to, but I know the bathroom door was locked and I had locked it. Now I was trapped! All five years flashed before my eyes in an instant. I was convinced that my air would soon run out and I’d die in that closet – entombed in a casket of towels and wash cloths.
My mother tried to no avail to pick the lock, kick the door in, whatever she could think to do, She finally resorted to calling the police. A fire truck was dispatched and a giant fireman squeezed his way through the minuscule window – terrifying my sister. I’m sure she had dreams about monsters in red hats for a long time.
It was a heroic deed as he rescued us from certain death. Facing two screaming little girls who had no idea who he was and a hysterical mother on the other side of the door deserved the Medal of Honor.
At the same time in my life, I found it easier to face the difficulties of life by running away from them. When things got tough, I packed my little suitcase and threatened to leave. You would think after all my 78 years of living, I wouldn’t still feel that way, but I do. I have learned to turn to God for the big stuff, but I still like to think I can handle the little problems that surface each day. When I can’t I continue feel the need to run away.
Life can close us in when we have fear. The uncertainties we face every day are enough for some to require straight jackets. How do you handle your fears? I’m still in the process of figuring that one out. I know I should have faith that God has my back in all circumstances, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. Prayers can help, but fear will once again rear its ugly head.
Everyone on this planet has something that eats at them. Our fears don’t just magically disappear when we become Christians. Sometimes we face even more of them. It’s a tough journey. Life can pull, tug at us, push us around and cause us to give up. The only thing to alleviate those anxious moments is turning to God’s Word. Within those pages we can find comfort, peace, patience and God’s plan for us.