“Please, somebody help me!” A frantic voice coming from the elevator stopped me dead in my tracks. The woman’s voice was filled with shear panic. She was also pounding on the door of the elevator with each cry for help. The elevator door was apparently jammed.
Looking around, I realized I was alone in the hall. It was the end of the business day, and all seemed quiet in the building.
I knew there was an emergency telephone on the elevator. I stepped closer to the door, and started to call to this frazzled lady.
“Ma’am, can you hear me?” Her screams continued. I yelled louder to be heard above the noise. At last the screaming and pounding stopped.
Calmly, I explained about the telephone, and waited for her response. She didn’t respond. Now I was the one filled with panic.
Dashing down the hall, I finally found an open office where the secretary was still at her desk. I quickly explained the situation, and she placed a call for help.
I ran back to the elevator. The emergency crew arrived and manually opened the door. One of the men gasped, and immediately reached for his cell phone. He called 911.
The woman lay unconscious, with a bleeding head wound. Apparently she had used her head to pound on the elevator door! Why wouldn’t she use her fists? Looking at her arms, I could see she had mere stubs at the end of her wrists, with two fingers on each stub, an obvious birth defect.
As the paramedics took her away, I stood wondering why she would use her head rather than her feet to pound on that door. Her fear kept her immobilized from thinking rationally.
Patience! If only she would have stayed calm, thought things through, and patiently waited for help, she would be on her way home instead of on her way to the hospital.
In bed that night, I tossed and turned. As I prayed for this woman, the Lord began to show me something.
He reminded me that babies are born fearless. Young children get hurt easily because they will try anything, not recognizing potential danger.
As children begin to grow, they become fearful of things. Unknowingly, loving parents who do not want their children hurt, instill unhealthy fears in their children that may last a lifetime.
Satan smiles when that happens, because his biggest weapon, his only weapon against man, is fear.
God showed me an example of how I instilled a fear into my little girl. While playing on the front porch, she climbed and jumped off the porch ledge, sustaining a mere scraped elbow. However, knowing she could have been badly hurt, I said, “Don’t ever jump from high places like that again! You could break all of your bones!”
To this very day, my grown daughter is afraid of heights. And I’m sure that fear makes satan smile. When God’s children live in fear, I cannot help but think of how pleased satan must be.
I wondered where this woman had been trapped before. As a little girl, had she perhaps locked herself in the bathroom accidentally? What was said to her at that time? Did her mother instill fear at that moment about avoiding small places that may trap her? Did satan smile that day?
Patience is one of God’s virtues. He longs for His children to patiently wait on Him for answers. But when we fear, we are incapable of patience.
When we are ill, do we patiently wait for health again? Or do we become fearful that health will not return?
When we lose a job, do we patiently wait for God to provide another? Or do we become fearful that we will be destitute?
When are children stray from God, do we patiently wait for Him to draw them back to the fold? Or do we worry that they may be lost in the world forever?
Only when we discover where our fears took hold in us can God set us free. Fears that paralyze us have a source and an origin. We were not born with fear. And fear is not of God. God wants us to patiently trust Him as we live by faith. Only when we face and are healed of the fears of our past can that happen. Then patience will be ours! And God will smile as satan bows down in defeat!
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