July 11, 2022

Before You Panic…

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I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!  Psalm 27:13-14, NKJV

Have you ever wished life had a big panic button you could hit?

Panic and feelings of being overwhelmed can lead us to some terrible decisions. Dick Johnson tells the tragic story of a woman, who, when diagnosed with cancer, ended her life rather than face going through chemotherapy and radiation with an uncertain outcome.  Only days later, the lab that gave her the diagnosis admitted an error.  She had not had cancer.

Are you confronted with an upsetting situation right now, and you’re uncertain what to do?  Do you feel panic-driven?  I like to start by remembering this quote: “Few situations—no matter how greatly they appear to demand it—can be bettered by us going beserk.”[1]

When you feel panic-driven, here are some actions that you can take:

Step back from the situation and do nothing until you’ve prayed and then, pray again. “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him,” Psalm 37 encourages us (Psalm 37:7a)
Take some slow, deep breaths and drink some water. You are a whole person and panic affects not just your mind but your body and emotions. Ask yourself what you need.
Get competent advice. Panic produces a paralysis of good thinking, so listen to a trusted friend or counselor.
List your options and their consequences on paper. Only then are you in a position to make any decision.

Here’s a scripture to keep in front of you: ” Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage…He shall strengthen your heart!” (Psalm 27:14, NKJV).  Remember, panic-driven actions are almost always ones you live to regret.

[1] Melody, B., 1990. The Language of Letting Go. 1st ed. Hazelton Foundation, p. June 9.