I've had my share of near-death experiences. I was predicted to be still born. Skipped that. I discovered that I couldn't breathe under water when I was seven, but received a helping hand from a guardian angel and I've driven myself in and out of danger more times than I can count. I've also had at least one tornado dance right over the top of my home, destroying only trees and leaving me intact.
Once, I was awakened by a violent downburst that was raging in the middle of the night. My little house was perfectly positioned to become a death trap, since it was canopied by a sprawling old oak tree that could only bend so much. As I began freaking out over my impending doom, I heard the still, small voice of the Lord, whispering like a lullaby in my heart. "We are going to the other side."
Well, I was in no hurry to "cross the Jordan," which was already what I was expecting, so I banished that thought, when it hit me like an explosion of peace. The Lord was referring to the story in Mark, where He tells the disciples to hop on a boat with Him and cross to the other side of the sea. A vicious storm arises, and like me, the disciples fear for their lives, only to have the Lord rise from a heavenly nap and quell the whole thing by telling the storm to behave and settle down. It did and it really had no choice.
It seems that when the Boss talks, even earless things find a way to listen. With this message freshly delivered to my heart, I laid down to share in a heavenly nap of my own, while the storm outside continued to rage like a spoiled child that didn't get their way. It went on for hours, but it ended inside of me with those words, "We are going to the other side."
Most recently, I stared death in the face by way of a colonoscopy. I'm certain these procedures were originally designed as torture techniques for prisoners of war, what with all the lack of food and constant movement that the dreaded prep day requires. And, let's not forget the twenty minute naps you get before rising at 3 a.m. to drink your final cocktail of liquid plummer.
To make matters more fearful for me was the fact that I had some disconcerting symptoms that plagued me for roughly a year or so that multiplied my concerns. It seems I shared my father's belief that doctors and hospitals were meant only as consultants thirty minutes prior to signing a death certificate.
When it was all said and plumbed, I was in perfect shape, with only a few dietary changes in order. Yet, I had wasted a considerable amount of time worrying about things that were out of my control.
What was in my control was what I did with my fears. Praying and believing what God says about us is far more soothing and productive than listening to the thoughts that can rage inside our heads. I should have rested in His provision from the beginning.
What about you? Got anything hanging over your head that keeps you up at night, even when you're not prepping for a colonoscopy? There will always be situations that arise that can only be solved by God. If you spend enough time with the Lord to learn His character, fears will fade into His faithfulness and perfect love will emerge to cast out fear.
But, we all need reminding of this pretty often, since we sometimes have the spiritual attention span of a two year-old. So, the next time a situation incites fear and loathing in your mind and you have visions of Saint Peter calling your name at the pearly gates, take a breather. Remind yourself that the same God who gives you those breaths is the same God who has you in the palm of His hand.
He has really big hands and when He has you, nothing else can have you. Let the storm rage. It's time for a nap as we cross to the other side.