"Unless the Lord had been my help,
my soul would soon have settled in silence.
If I say, 'My foot slips,'
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul."
As a child, I loved flying.
In fact, I loved it until September 11, 2001.
My anxiety increased with each trip taken after that.
In 2010 I stopped flying
when the Obama administration
instituted its new security measures against even innocent American citizens.
Since then, I have taken some long car drives,
and even a long train trip (which I recommend heartily).
But earlier this month, we were asked to come out
and be introduced to the church.
It was an internal wrestling match for me.
I intended to send my husband alone, and stay behind.
I am that courageous.
Some of you fly without anxiety, I suppose.
Perhaps being irradiated in the name of security doesn't bother you.
Perhaps being pulled out for additional screening
every time you've flown (save one) since 2003 doesn't disturb you.
But it has disturbed me.
Maybe you don't mind surly blue-shirts who question your clothing choices,
look suspiciously at your glasses,
yell at you for not knowing where to stand,
and make your children cry.
But I have minded.
I suppose the turmoil was because I felt I ought to do it,
and had no intention of doing it, regardless.
But I love Jesus, and I want to please Him.
In distress, I prayed about it in spite of my determination.
And after praying about it,
I opened up my Chequebook of Faith devotional and read this:
"'Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in,
and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out'
...I have a good deal of work to do within my own soul;
oh for a blessing upon it all,
the blessing of the Lord Jesus, who has promised to abide with me.
I must also go out.
Timidity makes me wish that I could stay within doors,
and never go into the sinful world again.
But I must go out in my calling,
and I must go out that I may be helpful to my brethren,
and useful to the ungodly...
Oh for a blessing upon my going out this day!
Lord, let me go where Thou leadest,
on Thy errands, under Thy command,
and in the power of Thy Spirit."
I flipped through a book by Oswald Chambers that same day,
one I had not looked at in years.
So Send I You.
"The stamp of the saint
is that you can waive your own rights and obey the Lord Jesus."
I told my husband I would go with him.
Knowing me as he does, he had not insisted.
These anxieties are thorns to me.
Painful, irritating limitations.
Messengers of Satan to torment me.
They slow me, and hurt me.
And as with Paul, who begged the Lord to remove his thorn,
the Lord answers,
"My grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness."
They hold me down, and make me weak,
but when I lean on Him to walk through them,
they give me power.
Having opted for a pat down instead of being scanned,
and having encountered a very polite and respectful agent
who did not yell at me or act irritated with me,
I walked through the airport toward our gate.
We weren't in a hurry.
As I looked around,
my eyes fell to rest on a display set up on the way to my gate.
"The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in."
There was a Bible open in the display case.
Two verses were highlighted in it.
They happen to be significant ones to me.
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust.'"
And He did preserve our going out and our coming in.
Thank You, Father:
in the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.