Recently I woke around 1am to the noise of a storm outside. It sounded like something had crashed onto our outdoor glass table. There must have been a power cut as my alarm clock was flashing. The wind noise was just enough to make me feel uncomfortable. As I lay awake, another storm started to grow. This one was internal and was triggering a bunch of irrational fears. What do you do when you wake in the early hours assaulted by fear? Here’s what I’m learning…
It’s amazing how irrational fear can be, especially in the early hours of the morning! My head bounced from one irrational thought to another and my stomach started to feel like I was on a boat in a storm. Do you recognize any of these storms of fear?
- afraid my marriage would hit the rocks…
- afraid that we would be sunk by financial challenges…
- afraid of losing connection with my kids
- afraid of being alone in it all…
- afraid of sinking under the pressure…
- afraid of not measuring up to the required performance…
- afraid of not making it to the other side…
- afraid of failing this storm test…
- afraid of the holes appearing in my boat…
- fear of faith failure…
- afraid of being afraid!
Somewhere inside me I knew this was a fear storm and not real. But at that time in the early morning with the physical storm going on outside, my mind and emotions were refusing to settle.
What do you do in a fear storm?
I grabbed my mobile device put my ear buds in, careful not to wake my peacefully sleeping wife. I pushed play on my favorite worship album. It worked…. for a while…
I tried praying in my god-language under my breath. I thought through scriptures and mentally made declarations. That worked for a while as I dozed in and out of the storm.
I needed to do something more if I was to get ANY victory in this storm.
Time for something stronger
I got up and walked quietly into my living area, closing the bedroom door behind me.
I debated whether to watch a movie or read a novel to get my mind off the fear. Deep down I knew this was more than something natural. If I did the movie/novel thing I would be back here tomorrow morning doing the same thing.
I wanted this to fear storm to end… for good. I want the pressure to end. I want the gut tension to dissipate. I want to be free. I want to sleep peacefully and wake refreshed.
I want to be FREE from fear (to escape the storm)
I grabbed my journal and Bible and started to flick through the pages. I needed a NOW word from God that would give me the key to freedom.
I then remembered what I had been journaling about the DAY before.
“The Storm Test”
I had been reading Mark 4:35-41 about when Jesus went with the disciples in a boat to the other side of a lake. There was a crazy storm and the disciples were freaked out but Jesus was sleeping on a pillow. In the end they woke Jesus saying “Don’t you CARE that we are about to sink and die?”
Jesus wakes up, tells the storm to quit (Peace, be still) and then asks his team why they were afraid and had zero faith.
I had journaled a bunch of keys to stay strong in the storm. I didn’t realize I would have to be applying them so soon! And how come they weren’t working so well?
I added to yesterday’s journal…
It’s hard to release peace into a storm when you don’t have any. It just feels like empty words in the wind.
BUT I CAN speak His name, nature and ways which are NOT DEPENDANT on what is going on with me. He is peace. He is powerful. He is strong. He is confident. He is courageous. He is unmoving….
The more I think on who He is, the more I can feel hope and peace start to calm my fear storm. I wasn’t even declaring anything!
Then I had a lightbulb moment:
It’s not just about stopping the storm;
it’s about realizing that Jesus is completely unconcerned about it!
He is with me.
He cares about me.
He is sleeping in this.
I CAN TOO!
Something shifted inside me. I took a moment then got up, went back to bed and instantly fell back to sleep.
Sometimes it’s not about making the storm go away… escaping the pressure. It’s about finding a peace (Christ in you) in the MIDST of it that makes the storm lose its power.
What about you? Are you trying to escape some storm? What is the invitation for you in the midst of this? What is the invitation to find a NOW word from God and connect with Him WITH YOU in the midst of this?
He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development.
Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, Ca. For more see www.AndyandJanine.com.