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 startle as I feel my heart pound. It skips a beat, then beats wildly against my chest wall. I can feel the arrhythmia as it starts up. An icy fear clutches my heart as well. No. I don’t want this again. No … please … no. But the erratic beating continues. I stand and feel dizzy. I lie back down. I know what the doctor has said to me about the arrhythmia continuing and the next steps in treatment. I don’t like them. I don’t want them to happen. I bow my head and pray. “Lord, I know it is possible for you to put my heart back into regular rhythm. I ask, Lord, if it be Your will, that you do just that. Lord, I don’t want to face this.”
I look back at what I have just written. How many times did I use the word “I”? I am so self-focused. I relax a bit. “Thy will be done” starts to sink into. Then the fear rises again. “ But I am not safe in a hospital” I begin to argue with the Lord. “I cannot handle the IV’s, I clot so easily”, talking to Him as if He is unaware of that fact. ‘I’m allergic to the meds … I could have convulsions … I don’t like the success rate – so many things could go wrong …..” My words falter.
I am talking to my God as if He is not aware of all of this. I want to beg not to face this fear. “Fear not. I am with you.” Verses begin to enter my conscious thoughts. “Be strong, be of good courage. Do not tremble or be afraid.”
I have heard that there are 365 places in the Bible where God tells us, in one form of words or another, not to be afraid. I realize I have to start taking control of my thoughts. I begin to breathe deeply and slowly, despite the erratic beating of my heart. “Fear not. I am with you.” “Fear not, I am with You.” He knows I am going to face fearful times. Now is when I must draw from His strength. His wisdom. His comfort. His assurances.
“Fear not. I am with You.”