I remember going to doctors as a child crippled by episodes of fear. “So tell me what you are experiencing,” they would urge. I wouldn’t know where to begin. How can you explain the unexplainable? How can you dig up those memories you’ve spent so much time and energy trying to bury?
After I was married, the attacks were still as intense. My wife would try to console me by saying, “It’s okay, honey, I understand.”
Talk about the wrong thing to say! I would get so mad: “You do not understand! You do not know what this is like!” How could she? She had never experienced a panic attack, and God forbid she ever would.
Anyone who has experienced the terror of anxiety and panic attacks knows the pain and discouragement that accompanies this paralyzing disorder. Yet, if you try to explain it to someone who has never experienced this type of fear, it is impossible for that person to understand.
“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy” (Proverbs 14:10).
Although no one on earth can share our individual pain, God offers us hope that we will experience a joy that is so special, so unique, so indescribable that no one else can ever understand it. What a wonderful promise!
Your joy may come through driving alone for the first time in years. Maybe it’s flying on an airplane or going outside of your home. Maybe it’s going to the grocery store. Maybe, it’s just waking up in the morning excited about what the day has to offer.
When you talk with people who have made it through this “valley of darkness,” they will tell you that the sunrise on the other side is more beautiful than they could have ever imagined.
Prayer: Father, I know the bitterness of fear–a pain that only you and I know. Your Word says that a special joy awaits me. Help me to see beyond the discouragement and fear–to the supernatural joy that comes from knowing you.