Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Panic and Perspective

“Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms…” Know that old hymn? I will be very happy when I've learned to stay there!
Very recently, I woke up and thought, I’m controlling! Elliot is going to dive into drugs and destructive behavior when he leaves home. From that peaceful reflection, I progressed to financial insecurity, the backlogged school schedule, mice in the walls, mold under the kitchen counter, dental bills, my kids’ possible low self-esteem, potential threats to their well-being, and of course my many failures as a mom. Finally, I had the sense to get out of bed.
It seems panic is about perspective. My focal point determines my perspective. When I focus on just one of my myriad fears and responsibilities, they ALL threaten to overwhelm me. My knee-jerk reaction to fear is either catatonic immobility or a spontaneous rush of useless activity – neither a good option when one unproductive hour can trainwreck the whole day!
That recent morning, it was time to P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens. Something in me. Even if it meant Praying Like a Good Christian until I gave up my religious efforts, and simply let God hold me. Which, this time, it did.
Safe and secure at last, I rediscovered that an amazing thing happens in the arms of God. Those overwhelming circumstances take on a much less threatening aspect. Somehow, the presence of Jesus is enough to take me from panic to power – His power dispelling my panic. Remembering victories God had already won in my life, I calmed down. I began to see solutions to some problems. Others were not today’s burden. And a lot were simply not reality; I’d been borrowing trouble.
No matter what’s going on, the answer is found in the arms of God. He knows your situation. He hasn’t forgotten you, and He really will bring you and your kids through.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me…. The Lord was my support…. He rescued me. – Psalm 18:16-19.


  1. Your post made me think of this old hymn:

    O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!

    His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!

  2. I love that hymn! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Lisa! So great to be in touch with you. I'd lost your e-mail address I think. And I always love your Christmas letter. This is a beautiful, honest, encouraging blog!

  4. Thanks, Betsy! I'm enjoying your blog, too.