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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

When Fear Knocks on Your Door

"O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction ..." Jeremiah 16:19 (KJV)

Clad in snowflake pajamas, with a failing top knot and smudged eye makeup, I waited for my morning shower water to heat up. As it reached the perfect temperature, the doorbell rang. 

I shut the water off and shuffled to the foyer. Through the door’s glass, I eyed a large man standing on the porch. He wore khakis and a golf shirt with the county sheriff’s logo. 

I cracked open the door. 

The man showed me a sheriff's badge and then an FBI badge. He really had my attention when he explained that the FBI had put him on a special task force to inform individuals of their presence on a recent 8,000-member ISIS Kill List.

"How'd I get on the list?" I asked, then listened intently.

"We don't know. Maybe it's your job." He looked at me in all my morning non-glory as though he, too, failed to imagine me qualifying for the list.

"I'm a bookkeeper for an engineering and surveying firm."

"Does your company do federal contracts?" he asked.

"No, we’re a very small company. But I am prior military and go to the Veterans Administration clinic. Maybe they hacked the V.A.?" 

He nodded an uncertain confirmation. "Could be that, but we really don't know." He warned me to be vigilant and aware of my surroundings, especially when coming and going from home. “They have your name and home address, but it's highly unlikely anything will come of this." 

He gave me two business cards with his various cell phone numbers handwritten on the back. "If you feel you’re in an emergency situation, by all means, call 9-1-1.  They have your address flagged and will come swarming."

I hurried to the office and addressed the pile of work in front of me. Then I searched the internet for information on the list. To date, there were no reports of anyone on the list being killed. 

The first week after the notification, I fell into hyper-awareness and hyper-vigilance. I’d checked the wood line and scanned the street each time I let the dogs outside. 

As I drove, I ran scenarios through my head; doing the same at home. 

Cricks and creeks in the house became amplified, especially at night. 

I prayed for God’s protection and His peace settled on me. 

God reminded me of the Hebrews in Egypt and how He protected them, even in the midst of the storm, (Exodus 5-15). He also reminded me of how Jesus calmed the storm with the disciples in the boat, (Matthew 8:23-27). Each time he stayed there with them. He protected and sheltered them. Each time He did not take them out of the problem but protected them in the midst of the problems and He brought calm to the situation.

During the following weeks, as I pressed to rest in my God, my fortress, I settled into a healthy amount of awareness and vigilance. There is only one way off a kill list, so I resolved to remain in the refuge that is my God and trust him for protection.

Lord, help us to rest in You when fear sets in and our circumstances overwhelm us. Give us Your perfect peace in the midst of the storm. Lord, teach us to turn to you first and lay our concerns at your feet. Amen!

Copyright © 2019 Sally Friscea, used with permission.

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