As you read these lines, there is something controlling you. Something that would make you panic if you lost it. Maybe it’s your cell phone, your wallet, your kids… or maybe your confidence.
The other day, I found that “something” that apparently was controlling me. It sent me into a tizzy because it, ahem, stopped working.
While my fingers danced on my keyboard, suddenly something happened. My muscles tightened. “Cindi, I don’t know what’s wrong,” I wrote to my tech-savvy friend. “I’m stuck, really stuck. My computer says there’s no room on the disk and I’m out of memory.”
Without this electronic tool, without its functions and unable to access the enormous amount of data stored in it, I was lost. And when it malfunctioned, I realized it controlled me. I was under its mercy. Pitiful, isn’t it?
But my friend, even from far away, resolved the crisis. “Sometimes,” she wrote gently, “this can happen when you have too many windows open.”
Duh! That’s exactly what happened. I, the queen of multitasking, had so many windows open at once that a mighty draft was probably blowing my way.
Why do we do that? We open windows in life too—our kids do something off-the-wall for the umpteenth time, we open the window of worry. When will they ever learn! Money problems don’t let up, so we open the window of anxiety. The doctor’s office leaves a message, “We found something abnormal in the test.” We open the window of anguish. Our spouse still won’t understand us; we fling open the window of anger.
And before we know it, we’ve opened up the path for all negative junk to come in. We’re in a place where fear takes control. Fear rules. And fear hammers the notion that no answer will ever come.
I visited that bitter place. At 31, a retinal disease robbed my sight, aggressively, completely, and with no expectation of regaining it again.
That’s when I opened, not just a window, but a huge patio door of self-pity. Why me? I asked over and over again. The winds of anxiety and fear blew right through my soul. What will I do blind, unable to care for my 3, 5, 7-year-old sons; where would I find help? Who could give me the answers to my questions? Who would comfort me? How could I calm my nagging fear?
In the midst of all those questions, like my friend Cindi, Jesus was gentle to come to my rescue. To remind me. To point to a different kind of fear. The fear that whispers calmness: “How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.” (Psalm 31:19)
And while under His refuge, windows of destructive emotions close. Doors of wisdom open instead.
This is how David’s wisdom shines as, with His bold claim, he closed the window of fear: “The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
His words made perfect sense. I was fearful I’d be an unfit mom because I couldn’t see. I feared a life without sight. I feared a life of broken dreams.
But if God is our stronghold, if God is our life, if God is our comforter, our provider and our guide, what place does fear have in our life?
And if His promise that He would be a lamp to my feet and the light for my path (Psalm 119:105) was true, what hold would fear have?
As the answers file through, these truths soothe the soul:
1. The God of the universe is watching. He’s listening and is ready to point the way in the darkness. (Psalm 86:7)
2. He will hold us up, give us strength, and begin a new life in us. (Isaiah 43:18)
3. He will fulfill His promise: “Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them.” (Psalm 138:7, The LB-Paraphrased)
Whether you’re facing physical blindness, a computer that stopped working, or a marriage that is falling apart, God is standing by.
He always does. He always waits. He always offers. It’s up to us to accept His cure for our fear, the answer to our anguish and the comfort for our fear. That’s when we can confidently open the window of reassurance. We breathe in the freshness of His security , knowing fear has no power, no hold, or control anymore.
Janet Perez Eckles is an author and speaker. Her keynote messages and the writings in her four books, including, Simply Salsa are helping thousands to celebrate life by turning trials to triumphant and joy-filled lives.
Publication date: March 31, 2016