Have you ever been gripped by fear of the dark that it overwhelms you? When you walk down the street, in the dark, you find yourself walking in the middle of the street to be away from the shadows? As you walk, do you look over your shoulder to see if anyone is following you? That’s the kind of fear I lived with.
Let me tell you my story. You’ll be amazed at the outcome because this is a God-story for sure!
I remember that night well. It is etched in my memory forever, every single detail. You never forget when fear has its grip on you.
Introduction to Psalm 139
The story begins back in 1976, when I was living in Ontario, and a minister that I met while pumping gas at the BP gas station, started up conversations every time he came to buy fuel.
He and his wife lived up the street where they pastored a small church they had started in a school. I was 18 and though I believed in Jesus and God, I didn’t go to church. I met his wife, Marjorie, and we became friends. They were both a great influence on me.
I was living with my dad in his tiny one bedroom apartment. I slept on the couch and since I worked everyday, I wasn’t there very much. Eventually I found my own apartment just down the laneway from him so he was close by.
My mom had given me a red King James Bible the year before. I shared with Rev Lofthouse about the fear of the dark I lived with and he suggested I read Psalm 139. It didn’t take long for it to become my favourite Psalm. It still is, to this day.
Months later I returned to my mother’s home in BC and I was given the downstairs bedroom in the far corner. We kids called it the dungeon because the door had the sliding window slot, you know, the kind where the guard looks in at you to see what you’re doing. It was creepy. The basement was unfinished except for this one room.
I had it set up comfortably though with a pull-out couch, a desk and chair under the bedroom window. There was a shelf with my dishes and things that I had brought back with me from Ontario. It felt ‘homey.’
Oh yes, there was a nice big slider window about an inch off the ground facing the driveway. I could see when my mom came home. Or when anyone walked to the back door.
At night time, through the darkness, I could see some light that would shine on the leaves of the trees. Mostly, it was very dark. Did I mention that the lock didn’t work very well on the window? In fact, it didn’t work at all. Anyone could open it if they wanted to. I just didn’t know who ‘they’ were.
I really liked my room. I would pull out the davenport, make my bed, and climb in for a good night’s sleep.
And then my mind would think, what if someone climbed in the window? My room is under the living room, everyone is in bed on the other side of the house, no one would hear me scream. What if someone climbs on top of me? What if he rapes me? What if two guys come in and pulled me out? What if no one hears me?!
Every night I would quietly climb out of bed and make my way upstairs. I always woke up in the morning in Mom’s bed.
Night after night this continued. I would start off in my room but the thoughts, the fear would overwhelm me so much that I would go sleep in my mother’s bed. Night after night after night.
Something had happened to me. Something did creep in. Its name was Fear.
Fear of the dark. Fear of being raped. Fear of being abducted. Fear of being attacked. Fear had its grip on me.
You see, those things weren’t new to me. I was almost raped two years before and a year later, I had been abducted and had to jump from a moving vehicle. I had been assaulted several years before that so, ya, fear had moved in and it became a fear of darkness.
One evening, Mom was working downstairs. I was in my room, reading my Bible and my door was open. I can still see it. The light from Mom’s work space was streaming in my room and I was talking with her when I asked her if I could read to her my favourite Psalm. She said yes. I leaned in towards the light and began to read the most wonderful words.
Freedom from Fear
Psalm 139 (NKJV)
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall fall on me,
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Did you see that? The verses, Surely the darkness shall fall on me, even the night shall be light about me, indeed the darkness shall not hide from You the darkness and the light are both alike to You, did something for me, something amazing happened!
Something truly wonderful! Totally unexpected but, oh, so wonderful!
In that moment, I realized that God could see me in the blackest of black nights, and that when He looks down from Heaven at me, it is daylight to Him, and He SEES me!
In that very moment, the black cloud of fear was released from me. I could feel it rising off my shoulders and going up in the air, never to return again.
The fear was GONE! It left! I was free! The written Word of God freed me!
I could walk down the street again and not feel like I was going to be attacked. I was free! Such joy! Such freedom! Such relief!
Mom didn’t even know what just happened to me, what I had just experienced. It is so hard to describe but I will never, ever forget it!
I barely even remember reading the rest of the Psalm. But I will never forget what the Lord has done for me. How He set me free from fear.
The Lord is good!
That’s a Wrap
Can you identify with me? Do you have anything that has you in its grip? Are you afraid of something that you’ve never shared with anyone?
Do you believe that the Word of God can set you free? Do you want to be free? Will you trust in God and His Word to set you free?
Drop me a line, tell me your story. I’d love to pray with you for your freedom from the bondage of fear.