Sometimes I wake up “out of peace. My feet haven’t hit the floor and I’m already a bit nervous or concerned or even anxious. Maybe it was caused by a dream I had, or a movie I watched, or the spicy food I ate. I used to have a recurring dream about forgetting about a class at St. Louis U. and remembering the morning of the final exam… AUUUUUGGH. I would wake up in a cold sweat with Judy yelling “snap out of it…wake up … it was a dream !!! Fortunately after only 52 years, I don’t have that dream too often anymore. Now it’s just that stupid monster that keeps following me when I go to Shoprite … trying to steal my ice cream.
Anyway, usually the light of day, brushing my teeth, a good cup of coffee and things start to settle down. I don’t think this means I’m crazy…do you? But, you never know. Actually at times my mother used to call my brothers and me “imbeciles”…. I don’t think she was really serious… at least she didn’t call us idiots.
Behind all of this lurks fear ….. “an unpleasant emotion, a feeling of anxiety, panic, or fright concerning the outcome of something…something bad is about to happen.”We know that fear can be debilitating. It’s difficult to think clearly when we are afraid. While fear is not always real, sometimes it is. Fear comes in different forms. Often scripture describes holy people being afraid when God comes into view, eg. Mary with the angel Gabriel, or the apostles when Jesus appeared after the resurrection … “do not be afraid” they were told, because they were afraid…. and rightfully so. God and his angels are awesome and magnificent and knock us back on our heels… ‘a WOE, you are on holy ground type of fear’ .
But in addition to all this we know that spiritual warfare can bring about fear and anxiety. Peter tells us “Be sober, be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1Peter 5:7-9). The devil attacks us and causes us fear. This is a different kind of fear…frightening and evil and deathly. We take authority over the devil and his fear in the name of Jesus our Lord. In truth there is no reason we need to fear the “fear of the devil” because we have. a protector and savior. So, the next time you wake up with a feeling of anxiety or woe, say a prayer and committ your day to the Lord who cares for you and will always be there to help you.