by Howard and Jeanne Tomlinson|
Fear of the unknown debilitates many people, but the Christian has the assurance that God is in control. When an uncertain future or potential disaster is threatening, thats when the promises of God, and His perfect peace, mean the most.
Howies doctors recommended chemotherapy after his tumor started becoming more active in October 97, but we decided to wait until it was absolutely necessary. We felt anxious because we had heard so many horror stories about this form of treatment and heard also that it wasnt always effective with brain tumors. In 1997 we met with an oncologist that Dr. Chalif recommended; later, in 1998, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, we met with neurologist Dr. Malkin. They both shared that PCV chemo has very good results with oligodendroglioma tumors. Both doctors were also honest in sharing that there could be harmful side effects with this treatment, including weakness, nausea, low blood counts, and possible damage to other organs, so we opted for nutritional therapy instead.
There was another major source of anxiety we experienced in 1999 Y2K!
In mid-1998, we started hearing about the potential threat of major computer breakdowns when the date would change from 1999 to 2000, due to early programming shortcuts entering dates in software the Y2K problem. I read many articles on the subject and looked at websites devoted to this issue. At first, I panicked as I read predictions that our western civilization might come to an end. I finally realized that these warnings were overblown and stopped accessing the more frightening websites. But I continued to read news articles related to Y2K as well as recommendations on how to prepare. Howie and I decided in98 to buy some dehydrated food. In 99, we accumulated other necessities, including bottled water and candles. We live in New York and had no source of heat if there were power outages related to Y2K, so we decided to spend a prolonged vacation during the winter with my family in California.
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt remarked, The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear and anxiety can either make us immobile or cause us to make very irrational decisions. The way to face our fears is to look at them through the eyes of faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God knows our tendency to fear, so He gave this command numerous times in the Scriptures: Fear not. Instead of feeling anxious, we should pray about everything with thanksgiving. God wants us to have His peace in our hearts, knowing He is with us as we walk through lifes stressful situations. In Psalm 23, David said, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff; they comfort me.
For Those Who Hurt
You may be feeling anxious and fearful because of a present condition or potential future event looming on the horizon. You are not alone, for even the Lords disciples experienced fear. It may help you to memorize and meditate on this command from Gods Word: Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). And remember to pray with thanksgiving, even in the midst of fearful circumstances. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7). God wants to replace all your fears and anxieties with His peace, a peace that passes all understanding, so learn to face your fears with faith.
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|Chapter 29: The Lord Will Provide||Table of Contents||Chapter 31: A Most Bizarre Situation|