Psalm 57:1 says “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”
I wish I had a little more time to break this down but six months ago my life was flipped upside down, and two months ago I started seeing doctors for the panic attacks I was having because of it. Up until this point maybe a dozen people knew that about me, and now it’s public. How many of you know what a panic attack really is? For those of you who don’t – it’s a terrifying thing. It feels like you could be dying. Your heart starts racing, you’re short of breath, even if you’re not claustrophobic – you feel like you need more space. You’re anxious about everything and your hands start to tremble.. Even something simple like standing up straight becomes a difficult task. The scariest thing? You never know for certain when they’ll happen or what might trigger it. When you begin to have one, your focus shifts to just one thing: calming yourself down. For some people that could mean deep breaths, for others it could be medication. Then after a while the panic starts to fade away and you just feel exhausted. Adrenaline finishes running through your veins and you don’t feel like yourself for maybe a couple of days. I would never wish an attack on anyone, but going through one really opened my eyes to how I actually worshipped when going through a rough patch.
I found that the act of worship was like a deep breath when you’re feeling under attack. Let’s say you were just fired, or dumped, or even lost a loved one. When you go through something like this isn’t it easy to let it consume you? Why would you worship in that moment when all you can focus on is what’s next? To me that is a human reaction to something bad happening in your life. I want to challenge everyone to have a Godly reaction through the tough times. Like David in Psalm 57, or Jesus in the garden before he was crucified. The act of worship is like a deep breath when I am having a panic attack. My focus shifts to calming myself and the only way I can do that is through worshipping our father. Maybe that means singing and dancing – or maybe that means sitting in the back at a worship night. Wherever you are, just worship the Lord, and He will meet you where you’re at.
Mental health is a serious thing. If you are going through something right now, and you feel like the world is caving in on you. Please, please, please talk to someone about it – find a friend, talk to your pastor, go see a counselor. If you are going through something and it is affecting your mental health, you need to talk to someone about it.
And for those of you who are in a good place mentally, reach out to someone. Let’s be a proactive community. Don’t just wait for someone to say something. Let them know you’re there for them, and check up on them. We are the body of Christ and we are called to look after one another.