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Is Panic Stealing Your Peace?

“I’ve got you.”

Three words that changed my life.

During a season of intense difficulty, I found myself waking up several times a night, fear and panic hijacking any semblance of sleep I may otherwise have experienced.

I would wake up with a start, eyes bulging open like a shocked emoji, heart racing and terror overwhelming any remnant of peace still clinging to my tired soul.

The only words I could whisper were Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…

And that’s when it happened.

Quietly spoken in the depths of my heart, I heard: I’ve got you.

Deep breath.

I’ve got you.

Another deeper breath.

I’ve got you.

And … peace.

An hour later, it would start all over again.

Cultivating Peace

Whether single, in a relationship, or married, it is impossible for someone else to create long-standing peace in our lives. They can make decisions which help sustain an environment for peace to grow, but they cannot – and should not – be responsible for our peace.

Each of us are solely accountable for developing our life of peace, regardless of circumstances around us. And yes – some days are easier than others to do that!

In this challenging season I discovered, through choice, peace could become stronger than panic.

Overcoming Fear

It reminds me of the familiar story of Jesus and His disciples crossing the water. He was asleep in the boat while the disciples feared for their lives (Mark 4:35-41).

Research says the original Greek word for the storm is seismos, which literally means “a shaking,” and which is the term used to form the English word “seismic.”*

This was no mild rain shower; this was life-threatening.

Fear always is.

Because at its root, fear threatens to steal the peace-filled life Jesus died to give us.

Satan comes intentionally to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), and as the father of all lies he masquerades fear as truth, intent on convincing us that peace is impossible.

I heard one preacher recently say, “fear tolerated is faith contaminated.” I think that’s a brilliant way to put it! We must maintain that faith is stronger than fear, always.

What fear is threatening to contaminate your faith today?

Walking in Faith

Recently I was praying with a young girl who had come forward for ministry. She was crying quite hard, and when I asked why she wanted prayer, through her tears, she said she was at the end of herself. After waiting so many years for something, she no longer had hope in that area.

Probing a bit more, I asked what she had been praying and believing for.

She sobbed, “A husband … I just want to be married and I fear I NEVER will … and … I’m running out of time!!!”… followed by more deep crying.

When I gently asked her age, she replied, “I’m already … twenty-fiiiivvveee!!”

Now I’m in no way mocking this precious girl, as I completely understand what she’s saying. I said those same words myself (many years ago).

For those of you over the age of 30 still waiting to be married, put your daggers away. Remember what it was like seeing all your friends getting married, while you waited, terrified it would never happen to you.

I gently loved her, encouraged her and reminded her that she was still very young. I encouraged her to see this as an issue around the goodness of God. Did she believe He was good and would be good in her life? As real as her desire to marry was, I was more concerned with how she viewed God as her Father and Provider in that moment.

Being a 47-year-old, never-married single, I assured her that I understood. I prayed in agreement for an answer to her prayer, and I genuinely pray the Lord answers the desires of her heart very soon.

But it reminded me of the storm.

Fear raging all around, terror filling the hearts of the disciples…and Jesus….asleep in the boat.

Because when we are terrified, that’s often what we feel like He is doing.

Cultivating Peace and Overcoming Fear by Walking in Faith

When God spoke those words to me, I’ve got you, I felt a peace in my spirit that drove out all fear. He was with me. He would not leave me. He was bigger than anything the enemy tried to throw at me. And He had the last word.

Though the circumstances around the panic attacks continued long after that, my response to them altered after a few months, and my peace-filled sleep returned once again.

Once I began focusing more on faith in His Word than fear in the natural, it made all the difference.

And I also realized that being single provided the perfect opportunity for my reliance to remain fully on the One who is always reliable.

The same God who spoke three other words that are still changing lives today: “Peace, be still.”

About Jen Baker

Jen Baker is a speaker, author and leader who loves seeing the Holy Spirit and the Word change lives and impact nations. Called from America to live in England, Jen has been a pastor, director and consultant working with the local church and several anti-trafficking charities. She has written five books, including her most recent The Power of a Promise. Jen lives in Bath, England and is part of Bath City Church.
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