I did quite a bit of chaotic fun over the summer. I went here and there and everywhere. I visited my sisters, cleaned part of my attic, and helped whomever, whenever I could. Several weeks ago, however, something bit me. My fun summer stopped. Fear would now engulf me at the site of my bite.
What started as a “this is just a simple mosquito bite” turned into a “this could be a spider bite.” I knew something for certain—I got bitten and not just once, but thrice. The quarter-size area of blistering skin over my right knee spread out like a wildfire. I decided to do the logical thing and ignore it. So I did—for three weeks.
Go ahead and google spider bites and the only thing you will receive from the world is fear. I read things like, “Spider bites can lead to necrosis and can take up to six months or more to heal.” Don’t look that up. Don’t do it! I won’t even go into the pictures that I saw. I ignored it all, and as I did, my fear grew.
Yesterday, after many painful days, sleepless nights and baggies full of ice, I went to the doctor. He looked at my infected knee and then he stared at me. He looked at my knee again, touched it and shook his head. “Why didn’t you come see me sooner, Raquel? The area is hot. It looks bad.”
“I thought it would heal on its own,” I answered. “I thought it would go away.”
“This happened when?”
“Three weeks ago.”
After staring at me for awhile, he said, “Okay, well, let’s fix your knee. You need to call me immediately when something is wrong with you or if you feel sick. You don’t have to suffer like this when I’m here ready to do my job.”
With those words my doctor reminded me of something that I had forgotten amidst my fear—God is right here with me. He’s ready to do what He does best. I don’t have to feel afraid. He’s got this.
You see, fear spins webs of lies to seize its victims. It loves to take hold of our ability to think rationally. Our circumstances soon overwhelm us. No longer do we focus on the Lord. Instead, we succumb to our fears because we like to believe we have control. I know I did. I thought this infection would go away on its own even though it had spread. Just like the venom of my spider bite, fear poisoned my mind. It infected my faith, and it stopped me from getting help.
How’s your summer? What fear are you dealing with today?
If your circumstances feel out of control, you’ve googled it over and over again, and now fear has infected you into believing all the “what-if” situations in your mind, remember God is ready to help you. Here are a few things to consider:
God provides us with his all-sufficient grace for every trial that comes our way (2 Corinthians 12:9). Take hold of his grace and don’t let go.
We will find comfort in remembering God remains by our side no matter what we believe. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). During our moments of fear and panic, God whispers promises to us. Pour out your heart to God in prayer. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).
In Philippians 4:8, Paul reminds us to dwell on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy instead of the “what-ifs” in life. It’s a constant transformation by the renewing of our mind focused on God’s control over every situation in our lives (Daniel 4:34–35).
No matter how awful your circumstances may seem, God promises to use everything together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We may not see the good in our situation now, but we can trust God at his Word.
So when your child has to have a CT scan to understand why she can’t hear or has to have open heart surgery, or you just learned of a loved one who lost all their things in the devastating floods in Baton Rouge, prepare yourself. Your fear doesn’t have to spread. Don’t allow the poison of fear to take you captive. Focus on the promises of God’s Word and his unchanging character. He’s ready to help you.