Overcoming fear is a lifelong journey. Just when we think we have an edge, it can get the best of us. Recently, I saw this play out in my mother’s life. When my mom, Maria, was a senior in high school, she came down with rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that can develop as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat or scarlet fever. The disease can cause permanent damage to the heart, joints, skin and brain. When Mom was in her early 60s, she had open heart surgery to repair the damage caused by this disease to her heart valves. It’s now 15 years later, and she is in need of another heart surgery.
After several exams, she was informed that she would need heart valve replacement surgery, but thankfully, this procedure can now be done through small incisions in the groin, unlike the last one. Though a relief to the family, Mom was still anxious. The painful surgery and long recovery process was a lot to handle the first time, she didn’t want to go through that again.
Soon after my mother received this news, I decided to drop by to see how she was feeling. I found her sitting outside on the deck reading a book. When she spotted me, the first words out of her mouth were, “God spoke to me.” I was taken back; this is not her typical greeting. Then she showed me what she was reading, a Guideposts book called What Prayer Can Do. She said, “I just finished reading a story of a woman diagnosed with an abnormal tricuspid heart valve, and God healed her. I needed this message.” Her faith and spirit were uplifted by this story. God calmed my mother’s fears and gave her the peace she needs to move forward with the procedure.
When fear overwhelms us, a song, a prayer, a visit from a friend or a Biblical message can empower and encourage us. God will interrupt our lives in the most unexpected moments and ways to uplift our faith and give us the courage to push through our fear.
Lord, thank you. Your presence is greater than our fears; You bring peace to our hearts and minds.