20 Sep He is Here
I tend to have some (or a lot of) freak-out moments. Google is not my friend, and I often wish WebMD wasn’t even a thing. If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack then you know when that feeling comes over you, the only thing you want to do is get out. I’ve had the feeling before that I just need to run—to get away and find a safe place.
Even when I’m not in moments of actual panic, I find myself wanting to prevent getting to that point by calling out to someone who can help me, calm me down, or give me some reassurance. I always call my mom, and we have this understanding that she can bring me back down to earth when I’m imagining the worst. But often I actually end up not just calling my mom but texting about seven friends, getting on Google, texting a few more friends, and talking to my husband (this is usually last because he has his own stresses, and I do not want to burden him with the improbable cancer I have just diagnosed myself or my children with).
And every time I’m stressed or calling out for human help, I feel the Holy Spirit nudging at my heart to remember what I read in The Hiding Place, my favorite book. Corrie Ten Boom had just been imprisoned during WWII for helping hide Jews. Her 100-year-old father and her sister had been imprisoned as well, though not with Corrie, and she was desperate to reconnect with them. She received a letter that her father had died in that prison.
“Corrie, can you be very brave?”
No! No, I couldn’t be brave! I forced my eyes to read on.
“I have news that is very hard to write you. Father survived his arrest by only ten days. He is now with the Lord … ”
Footsteps were passing on the coconut matting. I ran to the door and pressed my face to the closed pass-through. “Please! Oh Please!”
The steps stopped. The shelf dropped open. “What’s the matter?”
“Please! I’ve had bad news—oh please, don’t go away! This letter just came. It says that my father—it says my father has died.”
I realized how very old and decrepit I must look to this young person. She stood in the doorway a while, obviously embarrassed by my tears. “Whatever happens,” she said at last, “you brought it on yourself by breaking the laws!”
“Dear Jesus,” I whispered as the door slammed and her footsteps died away, “how foolish of me to have called for human help when You are here. To think that Father sees you now, face to face! To think that he and Mama are together again, walking those bright streets … ”
That vignette from the book always stood out to me and continues to when I’m afraid and searching for comfort. During the series at Grace Church on the choices we make, Matt said one of the biggest ways we are hypocrites is that we claim to believe and trust in Jesus for our salvation and yet we cannot trust him with our money, our time, and I believe, our joys and our fears. Matthew 8 contains the story of Jesus calming the storm. Jesus asked the disciples why they were so afraid. They were believing their fears instead of Him. And in Matthew 14, Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowds of people who came, and when the disciples said, “But we only have five loaves and two fish,” Jesus gave thanks and told them to start passing it out. Five thousand people were satisfied, and there was food leftover.
Even though we say we trust Jesus with our very eternity, our fears and our limitations are often what we see and what we choose to believe. Let us pray that prayer like Corrie Ten Boom—that we would never cry for human help before crying out to Jesus! He is with us. He has saved us, and He will never leave us.
Chappell is a wife and mother of two girls. She loves biographies—especially stories of honesty and brokenness where Jesus shines through as Victor. In addition to writing, Chappell loves being outside in the sunshine and having good conversations with good friends. Chappell attends the Greer campus.