In the deep, dark expanse of space, a small group of rag-tag people works together to infiltrate a massive super-weapon. They are massively outnumbered, surrounded by all sides, and the odds of all of them getting out of there alive, are frankly, astronomically small.
You could say the danger radar is going off the charts.
While we may never experience a rescue mission like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and the droids, there are plenty of instances in life where our own “danger radar” goes off.
Whether it be something that is physically happening to us – moving to a new location where we know no one, someone we love has a serious illness, doing something outside of our comfort zone; or something more emotional and mental, like overcoming a phobia, losing someone, or just anxiety and fear in general. Any and all of these instances can cause our inner danger meter to skyrocket.
When that happens, our natural instinct can be a variety of reactions from panic, to taking action, to feeling overwhelmed – and at the root of it, a desire to protect ourselves.
Protecting ourselves via feelings of anxiety or fear, can be a good thing. After all, we don’t run into a busy street because anxiety tells us that if we did that, we would get hurt. We don’t touch a hot stove, because fear reminds us that we’ll get burned. Anxiety and fear can be protection mechanisms, given to us by God to make sure we do not do, well, stupid, risky things.
However, the downside to this can be that in situations in which we really are safe, in which, logically, there is nothing to worry about, anxiety can, for many people, pop up and convince us that something bad is going to happen, that this really is something we need to worry about.
Psalm 32:7 says,
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
When we feel scared, God is saying that He is our hiding place. He is our refuge away from the storm – the one we can run to when our circumstances seem out of control. Even if we feel embarrassed, or feel like He’ll think our fears are silly (I know I have), God still wants us to come to Him.
After all, as our Father, He cares about all aspects of our being – both physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit writes,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I think it’s really interesting that Jesus is saying that we both need to communicate our worries to Him, and praise Him. Expressing gratitude habitually, is actually shown to reduce anxiety (see here), and combat depression, so that’s really cool that God included that in the Scriptures before science ever knew it!
Jumping back to Psalm 32, I love the last part of the verse, “surround me with songs of deliverance.”
At any point when we feel overwhelmed, and like we’re never going to get through ____ (fill in the blank), that everything is done for, God surrounds us and says, no. I have already won the victory at Calvary. You are free! Delivered. Victorious.
In fact, Elisha and his servant experienced this very thing in 2 Kings 6:11-18. The king of Aram was at war with the king of Israel, and the Arameans king became furious since all of his plans to attack Israel were not working. Demanding his men of which had betrayed them, they answered that none had, but that Elisha, the prophet, told the king of Israel everything that he had planned.
Naturally, the Aramean king was not a happy camper. He found out where Elisha was staying and at night, surrounded the city with chariots, horses, and soldiers.
As most of us would do, Elisha’s servant began panicking.
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.”
““Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
In our day-to-day life, there are going to be times that we feel like there is no hope, that we are surrounded on all sides by enemies – whether literal or figurative. When that happens and our danger meter is off the charts, let us call to mind that the Lord is our protection and refuge, and though we might not be able to see Him physically, He is always with us, at our side.
~ Southern Dreamer