The Lord, My Captain

I sit on the corner of my bed, body rocking slightly as I try not to scream.

I’m in the middle of a minor anxiety attack. I’ve had anxiety problems since I was about eleven years old.

Strange haphazard thoughts and temptations swirl through my head like a terrible storm, threatening to bash my sanity to bits. I am the first mate, clinging to the ship for dear life and waiting for the storm to abate.

First mate, because I know I am not the captain. My captain is the only one who can save me, I don’t have the strength to survive on my own.

I look down at the Bible on my lap, the pages filled with tabs leading to verses that might help. I close my eyes, still trying hard not to panic, and start to pray.

“Lord, your word says in Isaiah 43:1b-3, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…’” (NIV)

In Psalm 23 it says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (NIV)

These Scripture verses run through my brain like Search and Rescue messages, pushing through the storm and the chaos to remind me I have nothing to fear.

Slowly my breathing slows down and I relax. I am safe. If the Lord is my captain, then his Word is my lifeline, and it is slowly pulling me back to shore. I get up, stretch and watch the rain fall outside my window. I thank God for bringing me back to peace.

(This devotional is an abridged chapter from my memoir about traveling through Asia with YWAM. The devotional was previously published in “Rooted,” Taylor University’s 2016 Youth Conference publication. It will appear in my upcoming ebook currently titled Scraps of Heaven).

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