March 27th Devotion

I Am and I Will
By Tiffany Thibault

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10

I walked into the house and over to the kitchen. I dropped the car keys and my purse on the counter, crossing over to the sink to get a drink of water. My legs collapsed under me and I sank to the ground. There was a loud whooshing sound in my ears. My heart was beating so hard that I thought it would break my chest wide open. I drew my knees up to me and wrapped my arms around my legs, gasping for breath. I do not know how long I sat there on the tile floor, but I know that it was a very long time. As my heart began to slow to a regular beat and I was able to take a normal breath of air, I slowly stood to my feet. Time seemed to have stood still in my heart and mind, so I was surprised to see that the early winter sunset had arrived. Time had passed without me having any knowledge of it. I realized that this had been a panic attack.

Earlier that day I had kissed my husband goodbye as he left to board a plane. He was being deployed to Iraq. He was being sent there to serve our country, to be in an area where our contact would be very limited. I knew he had to go, but it was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced.

I tried to control my thoughts as I was in the midst of that panic attack, trying to gain control over my fears. I was absolutely terrified that I would never see my husband again, that I would have to raise our daughter alone. As I sat on that cold tile floor, with my arms wrapped around my legs, I focused very hard on telling myself the truth with each struggling breath. I was not alone. God was with me. God promises to “Never leave me nor forsake me” (Deut 31:6) and “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

Through the weeks and months that followed, I was able to get through each day, to pray through my fears, and my worry. I never had a panic attack like that again through the years, but there are still times that I struggle with anxiety, when my life gets a bit full of life’s stuff. It is at those moments of struggle that I must speak truth to my heart, my mind and my circumstances. Sometimes I even need the truth spoken to me by a loved one. It’s also during those times that I find myself craving to read the Bible, to help me remember God’s promises.

I love this Bible verse because it shows that God truly loves us. He knows that we experience fear, and that we are often dismayed by the circumstances in our life. He knows that only in Him can we find the strength to carry on. He says, “I will strengthen you and help you.” He knows that we cannot do this life and our battles alone. He also says, “I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” The right hand of God signifies strength.

So whatever situation you are struggling with today, remind yourselves of the truths from this Bible verse:

GOD says:
I am with you
I am your God
I will strengthen you
I will help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (my strength)

You say:
I will not allow my fear to overtake me
I will not be dismayed by my problems
God is with me
God is strengthening me
God is helping me
God is holding me up with His righteous, strong right hand

You can get through this situation of trouble because GOD is with you, holding you up. Picture someone walking into an emergency room, leaning on someone stronger to get them to a place of refuge, of help. That is you and God. He is holding you up through each moment and He will not let this situation destroy you.
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