"I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears." Ps 34: 5
I used to be really afraid, especially at night. When my kids were little, Jim traveled one week out of every month. Those weeks were very difficult because I didn’t get much sleep when he was gone. I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel the terror begin to take over. I would break out into a cold sweat and be paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t even reach the telephone to call someone to pray for me. It was no fun!
One night I even saw a shrouded figure standing at the foot of my bed. He said "I have total control over you. There’s nothing you can do." I was afraid to tell anyone what I had seen, because I thought they would think I was crazy. But finally, I told my bible study leader, and she started to teach me about spiritual warfare. She taught me that demons are real, and that there is a battle going on! I learned scripture verses that I could speak out loud when the fear would threaten to overcome me.
Verses like these:
"When I lie down I will fall peacefully asleep for You oh Lord bring security to my dwelling." Ps 4: 9 "Through the night watches I will meditate on You; that You are my help…My soul clings fast to You; your right hand upholds me." Ps 63 7-9
"I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed." Ps 16: 8
Now when Jim was gone, I had a night light on, the radio tuned to a Christian station, and my bible open on his pillow, ready for me to grab and read if I woke up in the night. I was learning to trust the Lord and to believe that He really meant it when he said, "Be not afraid." I was confused though by the verse "Perfect love casts out fear." I thought I had to have perfect love, or I would always be afraid. But God showed me that He is the perfect love that casts out fear, so my job is to cling to Him. When I keep my eyes on Him and His word on my mind and in my heart I have victory over fear.
I am still tempted to be afraid, but I seldom fall into the trap. God’s promises are not just words. When we claim them for our lives we will see that they are true. Thank you Lord!
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at janice@frcedric/org