Last week I was hounded by fear and anxiety, and at one point, I found myself absolutely crippled by them. I was battling yet another computer issue (do they ever end?) and fighting fear, because at this moment, I’m not quite sure what my future holds. And uncertainty brings all sorts of unwanted chaos into my orderly life. While God has promised to provide for me, and has been exceedingly faithful to His promises, I still sometimes find myself overwhelmed with worry.
So while I did deep breathing exercises in an effort to ward off a panic attack, I thought about Psalm 23. Specifically, I thought about verse five. Maybe it was because of a recent trip to the zoo, but I pictured David sitting there with a lion on one side and a bear on the other, and of course, crazed King Saul behind him, casting murderous looks his way. Then I pictured me sitting in David’s seat and I could feel the hot breath of the lion at my right hand. The bear left and was replaced by a lovely jaguar who eyed me like I was his midafternoon snack. The imaginary animals helped me give a body to the amorphous enemies plaguing me, and I focused on David’s words. While he was hunted by Saul and plenty of other powerful men, harassed by wild animals, and threatened by evil supernatural powers, he realized that even in the midst of this, God was present.
In meditating on David’s experience, I learned not only is God present, He is unperturbed by what my enemies are doing. So much so, that in the midst of trials, challenges, and pain, He decides to set a banquet table of grace just for me (and you). Anxiety and fear? Trade those in for peace. Sadness? Exchange it for joy. Anger? Swap it for gentleness and patience. Frustration? Replace it with contentment. So today, while nothing has changed in my circumstances, my attitude is different. I am amazed anew that I can sit at God’s table and enjoy His gifts while my enemies hover just over my shoulder, licking their lips and wishing in vain that they could devour me.