Avoiding the Panic Path

“You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.” Psalm 18:36

I sprained my ankle rushing to check on my pug, Luci, who’d had a major seizure recently from eating something poisonous. She does that, being one to eat everything that doesn’t eat her first, and several weeks ago she’d gotten into something–again–and flirted with the Reaper–again.

About three days after Luci’s near-date with death, I was in the kitchen with the porch door open letting the sun filter into our chilly house. Luci kept wandering out to the porch (tempting fate I was sure), inviting another “close call” as she foraged for toxic tidbits with which to terrorize me. So, after examining the porch half a dozen times, I’d pronounced the “all clear” and left the door propped open.

Well, I stood at the sink, washing dishes for a while when the thought hit me, “She’s been out there a suspicious length of time . . . Oh, no! Is she eating something again?” I spun around and flew through our entry, clutching the dish towel. In a blind panic, I plunged through the doorway, fell onto the porch, and sprained my ankle.

As I lay gripping my foot, I twisted around–fear still my master–to behold Luci peacefully reclined against the sunlit rail, ears half-mast, eyes relaxed and soft.

She was sunbathing.


You see, fear galvanized me into panicked action, and in my haste to check on her, I plunged blindly out the door–

–and suffered for it.

“You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.”

No, I didn’t go digging for a Scripture to fit my circumstances. This verse was the featured attraction in my study today. It found me, even as I sat hobbled, ankle throbbing, staring at the reminder of the folly of fear and panic and haste. A bitter pill for someone who knows better.

(Ask this expert: “panicking into error” is a Really. Bad. Idea . . .)

Anyway, since Jesus often uses everyday events to illustrate deeper truths, today He used my own words describing the accident to unearth a deeper issue in my heart.

Perhaps it will speak to you, too.

Fear: When fear of the unknown grips me, I imagine the worst. Because I can’t see or understand what’s happening, I question God, “What does the future hold?” For me right now it’s, “Will my efforts ever amount to anything?” “Am I losing my edge, my sharpness, my passion for it all?” “Can I even do this?”

Panic: When panic chokes out God’s voice, I listen to the enemy: “You’re not doing enough.” “You’re wasting time with “small stuff.” “Abandon this dead-end path and change direction while you still can . . . ”

Haste: And I feel pushed to make a decision in haste: “Hurry! Before it’s too late!” “Look at everyone else! You aren’t moving . . . If you don’t get going soon . . . ”

Plunge blindly: And I’m tempted to plunge blindly through the nearest obliging door: “Just do it . . . anything . . . ”

Doors opening to show flying letters in a grey room

Do any of those descriptions speak to anyone else?

As I look back at my accident, I’m humbled at the irony; while I spiraled in a full-tilt panicked frenzy, Luci rested on the puggy-proofed porch, serene as she basked in the sun.

Oh, to be like that–basking in the radiance of God’s Son, secure and serene in the place He has Bethany-proofed for me! I long to leave the path of ankle-turning fear and panic, blind plunges and hasty decisions, don’t you? Today let’s step onto the “broad path” and walk trusting in God’s care, confident in His plan, as the light of His Word guides us.

Which of the words (fear, panic, plunge blindly, haste) resonate most with you today?

1st Photo mine, 2nd photo courtesy of Crestock.com

Comments 9

  1. Pingback: Don't Ditch Your Dream Bethany Macklin MInistries

  2. Loved the pic of your puggy–so sweet. I think I would have to say that haste is my problem now. I feel like I have wasted my entire life and having become a cancer statistic two years ago, now I wake up feeling each day like I might not have much time. So I want to hurry up and do everything NOW. I know that my life, from beginning to end, is in God’s perfect timing. I have to remind myself of that every day and not run ahead of where God wants me to be.

    1. It’s so hard not to try to “leave our mark while there’s still time.” How I feel that pressure, too! But you are right, trusting God’s timing and His plan is where the peace is, and that peace keeps us from running ahead. Thanks so much for your honesty. 🙂

  3. I loved it…and the picture is worth the time and effort!!! I can see why my blog from last week resonated with you!
    I loved the sentence with the “Bethany-proofing” only, of course for me, it would be “Susan-proofing! Oh the things I do in spite of myself!
    Great post!

    1. Well, we both know what would happen if things weren’t “Bethany-proofed”! 🙂

  4. Love this post! So true….fear leads to panic, haste and plunging. Great illustration. Hmmmm I think I’m stuck on the fear…..the fear of future what ifs that God might allow. Learning how to rest in the moment and not panic knowing even if the what ifs happen….God is still present and will cause all things to work together for good. I will make sure I follow your advice and not be hasty.

    1. So glad He does work all things together for His good! I just have to remember that while His good isn’t always my desire, it is for my good, as well.

  5. If you had asked this question ten years ago, I would have answered fear.
    Today, I’d have to say I struggle with
    Someone once said, “Faith in God means faith in His timing.” I try to remember that when I’m tempted to rush ahead of God with my own agenda.

    1. That’s funny, it’s just the opposite for me: If you’d asked me ten years ago it would have been “haste.” (I was younger and stronger, both in body and mind and thus able to do more.) Today, it runs more to fear, as the effects of ill health continually strive to pull the carpet out from under me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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