Fear is a funny thing. We can stand up strong in the face of the
scariest moments, and crumble at the smallest detail. This was my
experience as I went through cancer. Oh, there were moments where the
fear of having cancer nearly overwhelmed me, but for the most part, I
was able to keep that fierce enemy at bay. But there was this one little
fear that nearly did me in: I was scared to death of the potential
stomach upset that often follows general anaesthesia. It was this fear
that prompted me to ask my surgeon if she would consider doing my
mastectomy under local anaesthesia! She just looked at me and said, "I
don't think so!"
True enough, she had just described a 2-3 hour procedure. Even I didn't want to have to go through that awake...
Nonetheless, as surgery day drew nearer, I couldn't shake my fear of the anaesthesia, and this silly fear soon mushroomed in my mind to the point that it was all I could think of.
The Children of Israel could relate. They had been brought right to the border of the Land of Canaan, but their fear of the people who lived there robbed them of their chance to enter immediately in. Instead, they had to wander for 40 years in the wilderness.
In Moses' last address to the people, he gave them some powerful words, words that would help them as they once again stood on the border of Canaan: "If you think to yourselves, 'These nations outnumber us; how can we dispossess them?' nevertheless, you are not to be afraid of them; you are to remember well what Adonai your God did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt—The great ordeals which you yourself saw, and the signs, wonders, strong hand and outstretched arm by which Adonai your God brought you out. Adonai will do the same to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover, Adonai your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left and those who hide themselves perish ahead of you. You are not to be frightened of them, because Adonai your God is there with you, a God great and fearsome..." (Deut. 7:17-21 CJB)
About 30 minutes before my surgery, I began to remember. I put my fear of anaesthesia in His hands. When I awoke from surgery, I had a wonderful nurse who went against the rules and brought me some Ginger Ale. That was all I needed, my stomach was fine. I had truly nothing to fear, for the Lord my God was there for me, a God great and fearsome!
Whatever it is you fear today, be it something as silly as general anaesthesia, or something as understandable as a bad medical diagnosis or financial or relationship problems, remember these words. Take the time to think back on the goodness of God, on the many blessings He has wrought in your life. And if your mind is so overtaken with the fear that you can't remember any blessings, then ask God to bring them to your mind! Meditate on how He has always been there for you. Contemplate the many wonders and miracles He has already done in your lives, and put your fear of the future directly into His hands. Then you, like the children of Israel of old, will not be frightened, because the Lord your God is there for you, a God great and fearsome!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.