I recently received some good news which made me so joyful and for days, I revelled in God's faithfulness for doing in my life something anyone would have felt was no longer feasible at my age. I shouldn't have been surprised really because it was not the first time that God had come through for me in ways that even I could not explain.
A few days later, still basking in the euphoria of what God had done, I received an email which shattered my peace. As much as I tried, my emotions wouldn't let me. They were all over the place and before long, my physical health began to suffer.
It was at this point that I decided I could not continue like this. I always thought that there was nothing I could not face with God by my side but all of a sudden, all kinds of emotions - fear, doubt and worry came rushing over me like ceaseless waves of the ocean. As much as I tried to swim out, I felt myself being dragged back underwater.
Ironically, I was worried that I was worried about the situation and it all felt like an unending spiral to which there was no escape. It was at this point that I realised my problem. I was fighting the waves instead of riding the waves. I thought that I had the strength to deal with any attack in shape or form that the enemy throws my way but I was wrong. I couldn't win in my own strength, I needed the strength that comes from the Lord.
I also realised that I was not the only one who had gone through this kind of situation. In 1st Kings 18, Elijah the prophet challenged the prophets of Baal, declaring that the God who sent fire to burn the presented sacrifice is the real God. All prayers by the prophets of Baal to their God for fire to fall from heaven yielded no result. When it was Elijah's turn, he upped the ante. He asked that gallons of water be poured in the trenches surrounding the alter. As soon as he prayed, fire came down from heaven and burned the sacrifice, drying up the water and even destroying the stones of the altar. "And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!" (1 Kings 18:39) All the prophets of Baal were executed and to crown it all, Ahab prayed and rain fell for the first time in 3 years.
Now, I am sure you would say if I was Elijah, I would walk around town with my head held high using my victory as a basic for evangelising people! Not long after this however, the man who stood before the King and his army, panicked when he received a message from the King's wife, "May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them." 1 Kings 19:2. Elijah did what we do when trouble comes knocking, he feared for his life and ran away. He went to another town, left his servant there and continued into the wilderness. By this time he had become depressed and suicidal. Through a series of divine interventions, Elijah heard God speak with a still quiet voice (1 Kings 19:12) He thought he was the only prophet remaining but God told him he had reserved 7000 prophets who had not bowed to or kissed baal.
During the period I faced the situation that caused me so much anxiety, worry and panic, I was reminded that Jesus didn't tell us we will not have problems when we become Christians; in fact, He categorically said, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The issue I am facing has not completely been overcome but one lesson I have learnt through it all is that God expects us to trust Him through whatever we are going through. One scripture that has kept me riding the waves instead of trying to swim against the tide is Philippians 4:6-7, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I am learning to allow His peace guard my heart every day. Am I still tempted to worry about the situation I am going through? I wish I could say no but the good news is that I now know where to channel those worries and the result is that I don't have to fight anymore. His peace fills me and makes me glide over my troubles.