“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV
Those who have suffered from panic attacks know how debilitating they are. The very suggestion of their onset can send shock waves of fear through a person’s system. Beads of sweat begin to form on the brow, moisture in the mouth begins to dry up and thoughts begin to careen out of control nudging your closer and closer to the precipice of terrified paralysis.
I share this from personal experience because I have had to battle panic attacks in my life. My bouts have primarily been triggered and associated with public speaking. Since I am a pastor, whose job it is to speak publicly with great frequency, this of course exacerbated my problem.
The panic attacks first surfaced during a period in my life when I was going through the stress of making some midlife career adjustments. I would get up to speak on a Sunday morning or at a wedding and find myself battling all the symptoms of panic. It so unsettled me that I would lose my train of thought and feel like the words I was forming were cleaving to my tongue. The accompanying self consciousness invariably triggered a hot flash and profuse sweating and then an overwhelming fear of fainting would put it’s strangle hold on me. Mustering every once of strength and concentration, while inwardly rebuking the attack I would cry out to God for His deliverance. Each time He spared me from what I feared coming upon me and helped me to recover my composure. Seldom were people aware of the inner struggle I was experiencing. But what a terrifying ride!
As I sought God for deliverance from these