“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 (NIV)
We’ve been talking about how God has taken the last two years and healed me from several areas of bondage: fear of winter driving, depression, holiday depression and panic attacks.
Today I want to share how sometimes modern day miracles aren’t freeing us from bondage, but instead God giving us a gift of one of His attributes.
In the midst of all the healing God was doing in my life, I was still doing my best to be wife, mother and working four jobs. That schedule can sometimes get stressful and I don’t always handle stress very well.
One day in early January, while praying with my prayer partner, I was “venting” – telling her about all the things that needed to be done, how there weren’t enough hours in the day to be fully present with all my assignments and not collapse from the weight of it all.
Feeling convicted that I should be talking to my Father about these feelings instead of “venting” to a friend, we started to pray and I surrendered it all over to Him. I imagined bringing a backpack to His throne room, filled with various heavy stones, each representing a different area in my life and leaving the stone at His feet. After going through each issue I was dealing with and knew I couldn’t handle on my own, God spoke that He breathed His calm over me and told me I would remain that way.
Just as with the healing of winter driving, depression and panic attacks, the enemy isn’t happy I’m growing closer to God and being released from bondage. He is going to do what he can to try and make me doubt that healing did occur or I truly did receive God’s calm over my life.
January has not been stress free; however, I have maintained that sense of peace God breathed over me. I first learned what it felt like to have His peace when it was my word for the year in 2016. Without seeking it out for a full year, I don’t think I would’ve known what it felt like when God replaced my depression with His peace in May 2017. Now that I know what it feels like, I recognize it quicker and know how to enter into His presence and ask for it when I need it.
Modern day miracles are personal, unique for each believer. While my pastor experienced a warmth before his healing took place, I received the feeling of being surrounded by God’s peace. Some miracles take us by surprise, such as the freedom from driving in the winter gripped in fear. Other miracles occur after intense and long-term petitioning before God for freedom, as was the case for me with freedom from depression. Still other miracles come in stages, much like peeling the layers off an onion – first overall depression and then more specifically its cousin, holiday depression and sidekick, panic attacks.
My encouragement for you today, my friend, is this: Take that step of faith and invite God into all situations in your life. Ask Him to make the changes necessary for you to experience freedom from the bondage you’re facing and then believe He is working. Watch and see what will happen. Because as I love reminding us all, “What God is willing and able to do for one, He’s wanting to do for all of His children. He’s just waiting for us to ask.”
© Cheri Swalwell 2018