“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
~ 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
It started with a whisper.
Do you feel that? That pinch in your upper chest, near your heart.
My hand tapped the area.
There it was again.
If felt like someone had threaded my vein with a needle and left the pointy metal lodged inside. A couple of years prior, a stent, or small tube was placed in my Superior Vena Cava (SVC), and I had read that sometimes stents slide and need to be sutured back in place.
Many questions swirled in my head as I imagined the worst possible scenario. In the end, after another exploratory surgery, nothing was found.
This hasn’t always been the case in my crazy medical history, but because I started worrying and speaking my fears of what this pinching sensation may be, I worked myself into a frenzy and called my doctor for a prescription of antianxiety medication I swallowed daily to calm my thoughts. But the moment I heard that my tests results were clear, I no longer needed the pills.
So what changed?
I still felt the odd pricking in my chest, and of course, it eventually went away on its own, but my anxiety controlled each hour of my life. Think of the months of time I wasted, fretting over this discomfort? All that extra time that I will never get back.
I have a feeling some of you have been here, too.
You are not alone.
There’s an evil entity who seeks out wounded prey and thrives on sabotaging our days. His guttural roars startle our spirit the moment he launches his attack. This manipulator instigates fear when he repeats that our situation will never change, or worse yet, our condition is heading in the wrong direction. Dreadful thoughts compound into a swarm of imaginary scenarios we presume will come true. That’s when the devil drops another lie that there is no hope.
If there is one thing the Bible makes clear, it’s that the enemy hunts for victims to devour.
And chew away at.
If we don’t have a plan, Satan’s staged mumblings will sap our energy from hours of worrying. One thing is for sure, seeing us spooked fuels his flame to continue filling our head with fibs the second our eyes open each morning.
Honestly, I wish my brain could magically grow a mini toggle switch behind my ear where I could physically flip off the murmuring during these bombardments.
But it won’t.
I have learned that to win this battle, I must implement the Bible’s strategy to stay alert, and recognize that the negative thoughts aren’t the truth if they haven’t happened yet.
When you feel the uneasiness creep in, try these steps:
- Ask yourself if this thought is 100% accurate, or an idea of what could happen?
- If it’s not 100% true, don’t believe it. Run tests, ask your doctor, do your research. Whatever your stressor is, scout out the answer before imaging the outcome.
- For those who need something tangible to do to release the negativity, write your fear on a slip of paper and create a prayer box. Or journal those thoughts. Handing your fear over to God when we physically write it out not only frees your mind, but it’s a fantastic memorial to pull out six months from now when this prayer has been answered. Whatever you do, get it out of your head and release the thoughts.
- Write out your favorite Bible verse and tape this to your coffee maker, mirror, or car dashboard. Each time this catches your eye, read the Scripture out loud.
Remember, that tinge of fear is always from Satan (2 Timothy 1:7).
And that mental bombardment? That’s him, too.
Feeling fatigue so heavy you can barely function because you’ve rehearsed all the possible outcomes your mind can fathom? Yep. The master mind-twister has whispered away at you.
What we need to remember is that chattering is all he can do.
And roar back with God’s truth.
What one thing do you feel prompted to write and follow through with?
Pray and ask God what steps you need to take:
“The devil is a liar. Jesus called him … the father of lies and of all that is false (John 8:44.) He lies to you and me. He tells us things about ourselves…and about circumstances that are just not true… He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories… He has studied us for a long time. He knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and our fears.”
~ Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind
“(The Devil) was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
~ John 8:44b NLT
“This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.”
~ Revelation 12:9 NLT
Oh, sweet friends.
Full confession here (because, you know, I like to keep things real).
As I was rereading this devotional to post, midway through, with my fingers on the keyboard, I literally put my forehead down on my desk and cried. I have so been under attack these last few weeks!
Whispers of lies are being rattled away in my ear that there is no hope in our current situation. I promise I will write about this one, day, but can I just say that each time I am fearful that I post another devo?
And of course my own post spoke to me. Ha. You have to laugh sometimes.
But man, I get so upset that I can’t change our circumstances right now, but what I can do is keep listening to God’s nudges and write. This is the verse He has given me that I repeat OUT LOUD each morning (mainly because I need to hear it):
“Be strong and finish the task!”
~ Zechariah 9:9b NLT
The enemy’s mean voice tries to weaken me with worry, and I KNOW better! God has shown up so many times, so why do I crumble to the ground when we hit another bump?
I’ll tell you why.
The enemy wants to silence us.
But not today.
I pray whatever God has put on your heart, that you will take this verse and repeat it out loud and finish your task He has called you to. And if you start feeling the pinch, just know you’re doing the right thing.
OK. Confession over.
As always, I love to learn from you. Please comment and let me know if I should change anything in the post. I’ll even include you in the “thank you” section of my 30 Day Devotional for the Newly Diagnosed, from a (Recovered) Professional Patient if you share a tip.
God bless you guys,
PS To subscribe to the blog to receive future posts, click here. To send me the biggest virtual hug, click on this underlined link to leave a review on Amazon of When God Intervenes. Best. Gift. Ever. (I know. That was a shameless plug. But I’ve been told that reviews help guide others to the book. I’d love to encourage as many recovering patients as I can and spread a little hope. As always, I’m thankful for you guys. xoxo)