From Pandemic Paranoia to Praise

    MannaXPRESS woman-571715_640-e1608926800987-2 From Pandemic Paranoia to Praise

    By Ann O’Donnell

    In the months prior to attending an Outdoor Worship Service in a neighboring community, severe anxiety from profound effects of the pandemic escalated with each passing day, paralyzing my ability to trust God and maintain His peace.

    The fear originated from deceptions leaking out through emerging news reports, revealing the horrific secret agenda behind this intentional tactic of the devil perpetrated through the Chinese communist government against the American people and aimed at wiping out freedom and Christianity.

    The corona virus was not the threat to fear, but rather a socialist agenda unleashed to seize control of the country through a series of plots orchestrated by certain wealthy and ungodly leaders behind the scenes using the virus as a cover-up to usher in Marxism.

    Engaging in conversation with others, believers and unbelievers alike, often leads to extreme differences of opinion, revealing that a large percentage of citizens of this country are blinded to the strategies employed by those who use their money to gain power. Many refuse to envision a future in the hands of socialists and remain oblivious to the depths at which their lives would be controlled.

    Because of all these external and internal conflicts, panic reached an all-time high. My mind felt locked in a demonic vice-grip, clenched so tightly it affected my concentration, breathing, and sleep patterns, releasing high levels of cortisol as if a fire hose was turned up full blast dumping stress into my bloodstream at record speed. I saw myself on the verge of hysteria and very far away from God’s peace.

    Aware of the spiritual significance of these fears, I confessed my weakness to the Lord, and asked for His help to keep me focused on Him instead of the bad reports dominating the media, even through conservative and prophetic sources.

    My family kept me in prayer and I wish I could say the angst and tension subsided, but it did not. Time lapsed, and I told the Lord, “I need to get closer to you. Forgive my compulsiveness towards endless news stories and interruptions that prevent me from sitting at your feet”. I purposed myself to listen to more music, read more scripture, and continued to pray. Again, nothing changed.

    One day it came to me – I had been running to God so I wouldn’t have as much time for my mind to wander back to minute-to-minute updates of wicked activity. I wanted God to be a distraction from the evil perpetrators whose goal was to destroy America and take down everything He holds dear. I wanted to hide out under His wing in safety because I knew the socialists in our country were lying in wait to launch more of their despicable godless agenda.

    While these reasons for clinging to God sound biblically correct, and ones I would recommend to others facing doubt, I knew deep inside these motives for going to God were wrong for me. They were wrong because I should have been going to God just to be with Him, to love Him, to feel close, to worship Him in His holy place, and to express my gratitude for all He has done.

    I should have been going to God because He wants every part of me, not just the frightened and frantic part, or the leftover part, or the doubtful part, but my total uncompromising trust and adoration. I wanted to go to God because loving Him should be enough, and I am ashamed to admit, that at this moment in time, it was not. I was stuck and could not free myself.

    This is what I carried in my spirit as I arrived at the worship service, mindful the struggles I encountered were not because of current events, but from the current condition of my heart.

    The atmosphere was quiet and calm as I sat alone with God, absorbed in the music and singing softly. The messages contained in each song resonated within my soul. They bathed me in truth, washing over the fears embedded within. The King of Glory was here, high and lifted up. Then it happened! Honor and reverence burst from that locked up place in my heart and the floodgates of worship came pouring out.

    Praise resounded out of my mouth, and in humble adoration, I professed my love to God, for His faithfulness and His love to me, a lowly sinner in desperate need of assurance.

    The yoke broke! Yes, my heart was free once again, and the anxiety diminished. All I could see was Jesus as my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Shepherd. How had I disconnected and lost my way back to His presence? God rescued me out of the miry clay and brought me to a firm place to stand. I will sing of His deeds for all of my life!

    “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 KJV)

    Thank you Jesus for getting me out the devil’s grip and into yours. I repent for my lack of faith. I promise from this day forward, I will run to you because of my love for you. I cannot live without your saving grace, your compassion, and your forgiveness. I am yours, and my heart is content.

    Ann O’ Donnell is married with four children and loves Jesus. “Writing has always been a type of therapy for me, as it helps activate the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system, and changes the beat-to-beat intervals in the heart rate. I enjoy the creativity writing allows!”

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