Several weeks before the end of school I entered a fierce battle, and I was losing. Nights found me lying awake for hours, consumed by fear. Fretting and worrying. Rehashing scenarios, imagining new ones. My body reflected the results. Pondering God’s commands to not fear and berating myself for dishonoring our kind Father by my worry only distressed me further because I could not rise above the mire. Then a friend boldly challenged me, “Don’t just lie in bed consumed by fear. Get up! Sit at His feet in your Mary chair, read, pray, sing, praise. You don’t have to get up. You get to get up to talk with the Lord Himself!”
The tears that quietly ran down my cheeks as he spoke verified that this was a word from the Lord, a way forward. So that night when I awoke and started the familiar stewing, I got up. Stumbling out to my Mary chair, I asked, “What do you want to say to me, Lord?” Immediately a familiar verse popped into my mind, “Sin shall not have dominion over you!” I opened my Bible to Romans 6 and read the verse with that line, along with the surrounding ones. What sweet fellowship I experienced sitting at His feet in the middle of the night as the Holy Spirit opened up Scriptures and enabled me to believe. The rest in my soul then opened the way for my body to rest. I returned to bed and soon was again sound asleep.
This same scenario repeated itself the following night. Physically getting up was an act of faith, declaring with my body that I believe He exists and is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Again, that sweet fellowship with the Lord translated into returning to bed and sleeping peacefully. What an amazing exchange – peace ruling over fear! Plunder retrieved. Enemy conquered.
Then the third night I sat in my Mary chair not one, but three times. Each time, I read His Word and prayed and felt His Presence and then returned to sleep. After that there were times I did not get up at all during the night, while other nights I sought anew that fellowship with the Prince of Peace.
A week later, I recorded in my journal, “this fear crisis is the best thing that could have happened to me.” The joy of intimate fellowship, the delight of Scriptures coming alive, and the thrill of experiencing anew the power of God were so worth the sleepless nights that had pushed me to desperation.
The third week I continued to get up at times, but I didn’t hear His voice as clearly. Yet, rather than feel discouraged and questioning the validity of what I had experienced, He helped me revel in the memories of what had been, while continuing to read those precious Scriptures and physically declaring the trust of my soul by getting up and inviting Him to speak. The enemy could not steal the beautiful memories of His Presence and power.
And so it continues! I was up again once each of the last two nights , not because of fear issues, but simply because my mind was too awake, rehashing (good) events or planning the next day’s projects. These night hours offer sweet fellowship with the One who never sleeps! I agree with my friend who first exhorted me – I don’t have to get up. Instead I get to get up. I get to get up and speak with the God of the universe. He is a mighty warrior.
CONTRIBUTOR: Betty Yoder