When Panic Presses

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m 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 wild 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’s 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 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.

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’re 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 whispered 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’re 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 and presses, Peace is just a prayer away.

Breathe deep, friend. You’re engraved on the palms of the hands of the Lord. He knows you. He sees you. He cares.

Go ahead and fill up.


Dear Lord, Who am I that You are mindful of me? Thanks for remembering me, and for engraving me 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.

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