I had a dream. It was not a good dream. I awoke panicked out of my mind! Ever had those kind of dreams? In this dream, there was a tornado approaching our house. I could see it coming. I was yelling for the children to hurry and come downstairs. I don’t know where Jimmy was in this dream but he was not here. I was trying to gather the little ones but I couldn’t get them all gathered quickly. I couldn’t get my wheelchair downstairs. I was yelling, “Kids just go!! Hurry downstairs!!” And then I couldn’t see the little ones. I awoke right then! My heart was racing and I just lay there making sure of my surroundings and that I was still in my room and not buried under my house. It was horrible. I hugged my little ones extra tight when I saw them in the morning.
I want to share another panicky thing that happened but it wasn’t me. It was Elisha – my precious 2 yr. old. It was after church on a Wednesday night and he had made his rounds to all the “candy” people who spoil him with their loot. I was talking and he rushed up to me and panic was all over his face. His eyes were wild and I knew immediately that he was choking. I did not hesitate for one second. I didn’t even think. I grabbed him up, threw him belly first across my lap and slapped his back very hard! In one swift move, the candy flew out of his mouth and landed about 5 feet away! He sat up and smiled and threw his arms around my neck. I grabbed him and squeezed tight thanking God over and over that he ran to his mommy when he choked. You want to know what panics me more than wheelchairs in tornadoes and my children choking? Several things!
I panic when I think about forgetting the many wonderful things God has taught me in suffering because things are going better at the moment. I panic when I think about teaching my children one thing but living inconsistently with those teachings. I panic when I think about the wicked sinner that I am but living like I am better than everyone else. I panic when I stop and think about God’s love in my life, and knowing that I don’t show it to others. I panic when I get fat and sassy in my Christian life, and therefore feel that I no longer need the daily nutrition of God’s Word. I panic when I am a huge advocate of loving my husband and my children and not only loving them but enjoying them, and then they are the first ones I get the most aggravated at and can sure make their lives miserable. I panic when I look around and see how quickly my children are growing up and how short of a time I really have to invest in their lives, and then still let a day go by and I really haven’t done anything specific with them that day. I could probably go on and on if I just kept thinking, but this list is making me panic!! You know why? Because I am so guilty of every one of these things. How then do I keep from living in a constant state of panic? Let me go back to my stories.
First, in the story of my dream. It was a dream. It really hadn’t happened. It was a part of my wild imagination and secret fears. I woke up in a real state of panic over something that wasn’t even real. I remind myself that the things I am panicking over, do not have to be reality. They are threats, and have been reality at times. But they do not have to be my present reality. I had no power to do anything about my dream but in reality I do. I can change these things through the power of Christ in me. So I can live in constant fear or I can live in determination to make some changes. In my life, those changes are constantly being tested and changed, but it is always a work in progress. I want to be a real Christian. Not in word. Not in what you read here. But real in my home. Real to those who know and love me the most. Real to the ones who it matters to the most. If my family doesn’t get the real me, then no one else matters. I can fool a lot of people, but I will never be able to fool them.
Secondly, in the story of Elisha choking. He panicked and he knew who to run to. I did not ask him if he was choking. I did not ask who gave him that hard candy. I did not scold him for walking around with hard candy in his mouth. I saw what was going on, I knew what had happened and I fixed it. He never said a word. His panic said it all. You know what? God is just like that with us. When we feel panicked by something, that is the trigger that says, “RUN TO GOD!!!”. I love that God created the panic button in my life. It is the red line to the top. It is my signal that I am in trouble and I need His help. You want to know what is even greater? I don’t even have to tell Him. I have to turn to Him. That is all He requires. It is my heart that cries out to Him and He hears my cry and delivers me.
The greatest consolation in my life for all my panic buttons, is that God is right there to take care of me. There is a lot out there in this big world to panic us. But I have a God Who is a lot bigger than anything this world can offer and He has it all in His control. My prayer is that my family will know me as one who does fail, but has a God Who loves to take my failures and deliver me from myself. In that, there is no panic.