When Panic Grips You

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, I Want It All, Peace 9 Comments

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a woman who is easily distracted. More times than I care to even discuss. Sigh. I would love to say that the detail-oriented-woman in me rocks my days, but that’s not always the case. One crazy day, a few years back, the absent-minded-scatter-brain in me dominated big time. Here’s what happened…

After I dropped my kids off at school, I swung into the local gas station and ran inside to prepay. I handed the cashier forty dollars in cash and headed out the door to pump my gas. As I left the mini-mart, I held the door for the woman behind me. As she passed in front of me, we recognized each other. She is the secretary for a local church where I had ministered in the past. We chatted for a few minutes and then each went to our cars and went about our days.

My next stop? The coffee shop.

I grabbed a piping hot dark roast, added a happy little splash of half and half, and settled down with my Bible and journal for some one-on-One time with the Lord. In the hour and a half that followed, I read, prayed, and chatted with a few friends that came through. It was a very peaceful, pleasant morning… until a horrible realization hit me full force: I never pumped my forty dollars worth of gasoline!

Oh. My. Glory.

Earlier, I had pulled up to the gas pump, paid the cashier in cash and then drove away!! And, to answer the question you’re surely asking, “no…I didn’t even have a receipt to prove that I had paid.”

This was not good.

The detail-oriented-woman in me hid as the distracted-absent-minded-woman in me wallowed in the awfulness.

A cold panic washed over my heart. My husband and I run our household on a cash budget. We try hard to be good stewards of our money. To make wise financial decisions.

This was a forty-dollar blunder!

In a flash, I was out the door and on my way back to the gas station. I felt like such a ding-dong! I prayed the whole way there, “Please Lord, let the same cashier still be working. Please let her remember me!”

I screeched into the parking lot on two wheels {kidding}, ran inside, and blurted out, “Do you remember me?”

The cashier turned to me with a smile and a receipt in her hand and said, “I know exactly who you are! You are paid in full. Go ahead and fill up!”

I thanked her profusely and breathed a big sigh of relief.

As I pumped my gasoline, the panic faded to peace. In that moment, the Lord spoke to my heart as if to say, “My sweet daughter, so many times you pull up a chair to spend time with me and fill up your soul on my daily bread, only to be distracted and leave empty. Rest assured, each time you return to my heart and to my Word, my response is the same to you: “I know exactly who you are! You are paid in full. Go ahead and fill up!”

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:15-16, NIV)

When panic grips you, Peace is just a prayer away.

Breathe deep, friend.

He knows you too.

He sees you.

He cares.

Go ahead and fill up.

Dear Lord,
Who am I that You are mindful of me? Thank You for remembering me, and for engraving my name on the palms of your hands. Cover me with Your love and peace today.
In Jesus’ name, amen



Is there a place of panic in your heart that needs to be handed to the Prince of Peace? Pause to pray about it now. Read Psalm 139. Write down the verses that move your heart the most today. {Then tell me! Send me a DM on Instagram}

RESPONSE TIME: Click here and list 3 ways that God changes your panic into peace.

C’mon! Let’s take the conversation deeper.

Love and blessings,



{Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith Podcast during your commute to and from work… or while you run errands, cook dinner, fold laundry, eat chips and guacamole… all the things!}

New Episode This Week: BIANCA OLTHOFF!

“Life Is Tough, You Are Too!”

“Godly Confidence and Freedom From Insecurity”

“Own Your Everyday”


Did you ever start a Bible Study and not finish? Yeah, me too. It’s normal and it happens to all of us. But studying the Bible is important to helps us know God more, and to equip us with His power, perspective and peace.

Don’t let the unfinished studies in your desk keep you from going after what you truly know your heart and soul needs. JOIN Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith for an inductive online Bible study that can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Her next 4-week Psalm Adventure begins on September 8, 2019.

Click here to SIGN UP for the next online Bible study.

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Comments 9

  1. Your application is so good: “…paid in full … fill up.” Thanks for this reminder to a detail-oriented, highly-distracted woman. Your writing never fails to bolster my faith.

  2. The Prince of Peace reassures me of His peace (when I feel a little panic trying to take over)
    He loves me unconditionally
    He will never leave me or forsake me
    He is El Roi–my God who sees all! And He’s got this!

    Thank you, Gwen! Love you sister in Christ! Have a blessed day!

  3. Thank you so much for todays devotion. I am so scatterbrained myself. I do the same thing you do. I thought maybe I was crazy. This is Gods way of giving me peace of mind. I am not alone thank goodness.

  4. This was for me today! Thank You! I feel some massive pressure lately. Probably because of a concert we are working to get into our area where the Gospel will be shared deeply. So I put on my Full Armour and Trust God is much Greater! 1 John 4;4. Also we have our 2 oldest Grandchildren marching off to College. Exciting but concerning too. So how do I Overcome… 3 things… PRAY, Share my Heart with Jesus and PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE THRU SONG😊❤️Thank You From Sally

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  5. Hi Gwen,

    I am Olive from HK, recently I feel three panics :

    1. HK now is unrest in people heart, many people would use different ways to find the justices and but it causes a lot of conflicts here. It seems hopeless and need a lot of effort to restore the order.

    2. My workplace: I see due to power struggle, I feel unsafe to be current position as many interventions are there. I feel angry regarding colleagues use different ways to give up their responsibilities.

    3. My own inner thought, I am afraid to reconnect with b/s again in church and serve Lord again. But from Psalm 139, it resolve some of my worry.

    In Psalm 139, I know the way out is not figured out by my own wisdom and it’s not me try to search a bright way to go. The most important is Lord finds me and search me even in the darkest moment. He sees the situation.
    However, at the same time, in Psalm 139, I feel panic in reading this. It sounds like I would like to keep in a dark place that no one can find me and so I can enjoy the freedom. In case, Lord finds me , my life will get unbalanced again. While I am read Psalm 139, I feel fearful and not loved. I am afraid lord test me again and give me difficult moment again.

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  6. I really needed this reminder this morning. I live in a beautiful condo with the balcony facing East, overlooking Tampa Bay. 50 steps and I’m walking under the cool shady umbrella of southern Oaks on the path along the water. I have family within 15 minutes of me and yet the enemy attacks so many that I love. Grief, Cancer, mental illness, addictions…the list goes on and on. He tries to steal my focus daily. He wants me to feel hopelessness, useless, powerless, distracted. I keep my eyes far to the East toward the beautiful sunrise over the water, the rainbow that follows those violent rainstorms that sweep across the Bay. The Son always rises…He is always yearning for my attention.

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