December 21, 2006
Winning over Worry
Philippians 4:7 (NASB) “Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
Friend to Friend
My husband, Dan, has battled high blood pressure since we first married thirty years ago. Hmmm…now that I think about it…there just might be a connection there! Nevertheless, for the last two years, Dan has struggled with an irregular heart beat, a debilitating condition that drains energy and generally promotes a compelling sense of exhaustion. Dan Southerland is not accustomed to doing anything short of full speed ahead so you can imagine his frustration and my concern. Little did I know that the opportunity for fear and worry would escalate to a whole new level when, at 2:30 am on March 16, Dan looked at me and said, “Honey, I think you need to call an ambulance.” I already had. Sweat was dripping from his body like rain, followed by waves of excruciating chest pain, dizziness and nausea. The ambulance arrived six minutes after I called and began to work on my now semi-unconscious husband. I heard one paramedic say, “I can’t get a blood pressure reading, pulse or vein.” Dan gained consciousness for a few seconds to say, “I love you. Go get Danna”. I knew what he was saying and I was not having it! I climbed up on the bed beside my precious husband and in my kindest, most merciful voice said, “Dan Southerland, if you die, I will absolutely kill you! You are not going anywhere! You are staying right here! Do you understand me?” I then called for reinforcements. “Danna, get in here,” I yelled to our 19-year-old daughter who was already dressed and standing behind me. If her eyes had not been twice their normal size, I would never have known she was terrified. “What’s up, Dad?” she asked. That’s my girl! The paramedics finally got an IV going and within minutes, Dan was feeling much better.
A quick side-bar: For weeks, I had been telling Dan how much I loved Carrie Underwood’s new song, “Jesus Take the Wheel”.
The paramedics lifted Dan onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. Danna said, “Mom, you ride with Dad. I’ll follow you so we’ll have a car at the hospital.” As I climbed into the passenger side of the ambulance, the radio was on and the first words I heard were, “I can’t do this on my own. Jesus, take the wheel!” God’s peace settled around my heart and soul like a familiar friend and I celebrated the love of a God who cares enough about His daughter to play her favorite song at the precise moment she needed to hear it.
Why do we doubt Him? Why do we worry? Yes, He is Lord of the Universe but He is also Friend of the wounded heart and Shepherd of every valley. He is Love. He is Peace.
Over the next nine days, while Dan was in the hospital, God was with me every step of the way and He will be there for you, my friend. No matter where you are, no matter how hopeless your circumstances may seem, no matter how deep and dark the pit – He is at work in and around you. Just give up and surrender the wheel of your life, trusting Him to make a way where there is no way.
Father, I confess the times I have worried instead of trusted You. Forgive my lack of faith. I now choose to trust You wholly and follow You completely. Please fill my heart with Your peace and my life with Your strength as I learn to walk by faith, not by sight. Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
- Ask yourself these questions:
Would people who really know me, describe me as a joyful person or a fearful person?
What is my first reaction to a crisis – worry or faith?
What habits do I need to eliminate because they are footholds for worry?
- Memorize one verse of scripture each week. When you are tempted to worry, quote scripture instead and worry will vanish.
- Guard your thought life. Do not watch frightening movies, television shows or engage in negative conversations. Instead, focus on the power and sufficiency of God.
- Learn to live with a constant attitude of praise. God is in control. Do not trust your own reasoning or emotions. Trust only the fact of God’s Word.
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Thursday, 21 December 2006.