Panic Attack

Thursday, March 9, 2023
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Listen while you read: "There Were Ninety And Nine"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 55:4-8 – My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest — I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm." (NIV)

Does that sound like a panic attack to you? Many factors — including biology, heredity, temperament, stress, and the particular experiences of a situation — can contribute to panic attacks. This can be a serious medical condition and should never be taken lightly. It can also be a spiritual issue as the underlying issue involved is fear.

I know of only one such experience in my own life and I would never wish it on anyone. Yet I know a number of people who experience these debilitating attacks on a regular basis. My panic attack originated in being overwhelmed with the duties of convening Congress '96, a national event for The Presbyterian Church in Canada. It was an important occasion — the last Congress held after a 100-year history. The event entailed all the thematic, logistic, and personnel issues that can be overwhelming. Yes, it felt like a heart attack, and I had to take my leave of the meeting until I was able to calm my racing thoughts and heart. A moment in prayer, and I was back to the work of the committee, hoping never to experience anything like that again!

It took the psalmist awhile, just as it may take us awhile, but he was finally able to say, "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. But as for me, I will trust in you." (Psalm 55:22a,23b NIV)

Can we say the same?

Psalm 94:19 – When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, we want to be free from anxiety. Help us today to put our trust in You and to let Your perfect love cast out our fear. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Meaty. Nicely done.

    Thanks for these words, Kenn.

    Thanks for the good word, Kenn.

    Amen thank you so much Kenneth.

    Thanks Kenn,
    Good advice! May God give us all shalom!

    Thanks Kenn for your very encouraging words today. It was special to read about the relief you received after experiencing such anxiety. Yes, we certainly can receive much calmness, reassurance, and joy through seeking and absorbing the words of our loving Saviour. The word of the Lord is to be deeply trusted. Blessings for your special writings.

    Blessed Thursday Mr. Stright of Nova Scotia.
    Your Devotional spoke to me; it describes the story of my life.
    I am grateful for the Scripture references; my daily bread for surviving this World by way of God’s Word, His Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ our Saviour.
    Thank you for this inspiration.

    Thanks Kenn,
    I could not sleep last night for the worry and stress over dealing with what is going on with a non-profit organization I am heavily involved with. The last time I looked at the clock it was 4:00. I tried to switch my mind off and to think about God and things that are good and holy and it just kept racing back.
    And this is only a temporal thing and it makes me wonder if I should be as involved as I am but we are all into it now.
    Thanks for sharing this one.

    Good morning Kenn,
    I really did not like the title of your devotional. It reminded me of what my friend went through for many years. With counselling and her faith, she was able to overcome the control the anxiety had on her many years ago.
    She has moved away and I am not in touch anymore. I did enjoy the other memories that thinking of her brought because we had many good times together when we were younger.
    I do understand the message underlying your devotional that it is very important to trust in the Lord and appreciate your thoughts on this passage in Psalms and your experience of such a momentous time in your life.
    Thanks for always being willing to share parts of your faith journey. Blessings.

    Thank you, Kenn. May we always trust in Him.

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