5 Steps to take when the Panic button has been pushed

Right out of the blue some words are spoken and thoughts are triggered. Feelings rush in like a flood.

Panic, heart racing, fear, sweat. Your mind is completely caught up in this moment of drama

 
You trace out the possible future if ‘this’ or ‘that’ happened. Like dominoes falling you are trapped in the endless collapse of your future.
 
First, let me assure you that you are not alone. Many people struggle with panic attacks.
 
Some of the characters of the Bible certainly faced anxiety, fear and panic. Jonah ran in panic and fear from God’s calling to go and preach to a city full of murderous God haters. Gideon was hiding in a winepress when God asked him to take on a whole army. Peter denied knowing his best friend Christ when asked.
 

Fear was shadowing their lives. Does fear shadow yours?

 
One of the most familiar themes of the Bible, from beginning to end, is that of a ‘With you God’
 
The statement ‘I am with you’ is mentioned, or inferred, over and over again.
 
  • I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20
  • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12
  • “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23
  • And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 15:20
  • And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17
  • Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10
  • Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
 
Paul, waiting in a prison cell in Rome for his execution, writes these words to his friends in Philippi.
 
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength. Philippians 4:6, 7, 13
 
Paul shares his secret of what to do when facing fear.
 

He prays, expresses both needs and thanks, and lives in Christ Jesus.

 
Here is what I would like you to do when you are panicking, worrying or living in fear.

5 Steps to take

  1. Take some slow deep gentle breathes
  2. Focus on the breathing flowing in and out of your body
  3. Invite the sense of Jesus ‘being with you’ to surround you like a warm hug
  4. Pray this prayer
I can face  ________________________ (name exactly your deepest fear) if it happens because Christ is with me, by my side, and he will give me strength.
  1. Repeat this over and over again with every fear or worry that comes to your thinking.
 
You may like to add this prayer to your Thinking Compass.
A Celtic prayer to finish
 
Prayer of St. Patrick
Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me, King of my heart.
Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.
 
Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, Christ all around me, shield in the strife.
Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising, light of my life.
 
Christ be in all hearts thinking about me, Christ be on all tongues telling of me,
Christ be the vision in eyes that see me, in ears that hear me, Christ ever be.
Amen.
 

Questions to Consider and Leave a Comment.

  • How much does the sense of being alone contribute to panic and fear?
  • What scriptures help you when the ‘panic button’ is pushed?
  • How does narrowing down and getting specific on what you are panicking and fearful about help calm things down?
Barry Pearman

Photo Credit: stuant63 via Compfight cc

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