“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)
One night, I found out that I have a serious, life-threatening heart condition. If not for God’s protection, I would not have woken up the next morning. It was a terrifying time for me and my husband.
A defect in my heart had caused it to stop beating while I slept. By God’s grace, my husband woke to find me not breathing and called 911. He was instructed to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived. They used a defibrillator to restart my heart. I thank the Lord that there was no permanent physical damage from lack of blood and oxygen.
Through the months after that, and again after a recurrence two years later, my faith was shaken and I was overwhelmed by fear of this happening again, and wasn’t sure that God was really with me. In my heart, I felt anxious and afraid to be alone. Yet, in my head, I knew I needed to trust him and look for answers in his Word.
Lord of life and breath
I came to cling to the fact that God knows every cell in my body. He is my healer and the sustainer of my life. He knows the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7) and knows the number of my days on this earth (Job 14:5). He gives me life and breath each day. I came to know in real life what it means to say that Jesus is Lord.
Where are you, God?
My heart was leading me towards anxiety and the fear of being alone. I looked to his Word. I read the words of Psalm 27:7-9:
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
God was telling me to seek his face. But I asked, “How do I do that? Don’t hide your face from me!”
Even though I faced some really traumatic days, God’s Word helped me see my fear and doubt as sinful reactions, because he says things like, “Fear not,” “I will be with you,” “be anxious for nothing,” and “my peace I give you.” As I confess my sins of doubting his presence and sovereignty, Jesus forgives me and gently guides me into the peace he has promised.
God’s glory in Jesus
I read 2 Corinthians 4:6 that says we see the glory of God “in the face of Jesus.” So for several months, I turned my focus to learning more about Jesus from the Gospels, especially the book of John.
In this trial, I learned that Jesus is “God with me,” my constant companion when I feel alone, anxious and afraid. He knows me better than I know myself. He’s my protector, my comforter, my Savior. I had to remind myself often of these biblical truths so that I would not be shaken.
Growing in faith
As time has passed, I’ve learned to be patient in my doubt as God is still working on me. He has provided knowledgeable doctors and treatments to aid in my physical recovery. Emotional healing can take a bit longer, but I’ve grown in my faith in him and praise God every day for giving me more peace and freedom from fear and anxiety. Job was a man who went through a lot of trauma and learned to trust God through it, so today I resonate with the promise of Job 11:15-17:
Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
you will be secure and will not fear.
You will forget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
I know there will be times of fear and doubt again in my future, but I pray I will be a little quicker to recognize my need for Jesus’ forgiveness so I can be confident of his presence and peace. I also pray that God will use his work in my life to encourage others to trust his Lordship over the life-altering situations they’re facing.
So may you and I be reminded: “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). Praise God!
Georgette Steiger has been married to Joe for 39 years and they have two married children. She has grown in understanding scripture and following Christ by attending The Orchard for 22 years. Georgette is blessed to facilitate short-term mission teams as Global Ministries Coordinator on staff at The Orchard.