I found myself in a dumpy hotel room, somewhere close to the Mexican border. How I got there, I didn’t know. Was I in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico? California? I just didn’t know. I only remember feeling like my world was enveloped in some kind of fog.
No memory, no money; only confusion. If I could have thought more clearly, I might have had enough sense to be afraid.
I was sitting on the side of my bed, match in one hand, joint in the other. I hadn’t smoked dope for a long time, but there I was, holding a joint the size of a small cigar, long and lean. How or why I had it I had no recollection. I only knew I was in a battle.
Two voices inside my head were struggling for my attention and allegiance. One voice was demanding attention, while another voice calmly promised assistance if I’d only strike the match and smoke the weed.
In all my life, I couldn’t remember such a battle. Never before had I wanted so badly to get up and run from a temptation. Yet…
Hours must have passed as I sat on the bed, staring at the doobie in my hand. Finally, I set it down, deciding to give it to a policeman who was walking just outside the hotel.
As I left my room, the calm voice which was so soothing, so assuring just a few hours earlier, began screaming so loud within my mind I was certain the other tenants could hear. The promises of assistance, of God’s help, were now screams of threats, of curses, and accompanied with a feeling of pending doom.
However, the voice that earlier was demanding my attention became the one that began to calm me, giving me a peace within.
Stepping outside, I located the policeman, and walking up to him, explained my situation. I then handed him the joint.
He asked me some routine questions, but with no memory, all I could do was look at him and shrug my shoulders. It’s not like I was trying to hide something. I just didn’t know anything.
He finally asked me the name of the person who gave me the dope. It was one of the few things I did remember. And, since I was trying to be rid of the whole ordeal, I told him.
For some odd reason, the cop insisted I accompany him to the place where I was given the dope. And stranger still, when a moment earlier I had no memory, now I could remember the address of the place and the name of the dealer.
Looking back, I now can see the power of fear and confusion. Fear keeps your mind in a muddled state. You fear what you don’t know or can’t see. When you begin to see a way out, fear comes with just enough truth of your situation to emphasize and amplify any possible problems.
When we arrived at the house, there were 3 Hispanic men on the porch of the house, each carrying a gun. I didn’t see the dealer. There were others there as well; children, running in and out of the house.
The cop called for backup, and when another couple of policemen arrived, the first cop pulled out a loudspeaker and told the 3 men to give themselves up, the place was surrounded. He proceeded to broadcast I was the one who turned them in, even giving them my name!
With that announcement, the men went inside and started firing at the police. The police returned fire, and 2 children were shot, dying instantly. I didn’t see who actually shot the kids, but I immediately left my position beside the car, retreating to a tree across the street from the house.
After a short barrage of gunfire, the men were captured. As they were being handcuffed, one of them yelled to me that I was as good as dead. I’d pay for the death of the children.
My whole world began to turn upside down. I had worked for the post office, but the police decided I needed to have my name changed, get a new, fabricated background, move to another part of the country, and start all over.
So, I went into hiding. I was told to contact no one, not even my wife.
Once again, the hideous voice of fear began to scream inside my head. Confusion, darkness, and fear accompanied the demonic voices.
About 30 days in hiding, all of a sudden a revelation hit me that changed my world!
I was running for no reason! The thoughts and reasonings in my mind were unfounded!
My ordeal and loss of memory, the joint, the cops, the shootings, and the threats were all part of a dream.
The things never happened!
I was free to live my life without fear of someone gunning me down. Without the guilt of being responsible for the death of some children. I was free! No more confusion or intimidation.
I called my wife, friends, coworkers, anyone I was even remotely acquainted with.
I awoke a second time.
Fear is a device of the devil. When the spirit of fear is present, the strength to do the right thing, the compassion to help others, and the ability to make good decisions are all greatly hampered.
Fear causes you to live in a fog, a dream, a place where reality is unknown, and the unknown becomes reality. It speaks “prophetically” to its adherents, and is worshipped and obeyed as truth.
But the Word of God says, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7
There are a lot of things in our world that can cause us to fear – if we allow them. Allowing suggestions of fear to gain our attention, our focus, opens a door to the spirit of fear.
But just as there are plenty of things causing fear, those same things are opportunities to believe God! Fear will paralyze, but faith will liberate. Fear relies on half-truths, dark rooms, uncertain diagnostics. Faith relies on one thing – God.
You may be wishing someone would come along and wake you from your dream, from your unknown world. Be assured, God has an answer for everything you are going through. His Word will eliminate your fears! He will turn your confusion into soundness of mind.
Everyone faces an unknown world, a dreamworld, at times. But no one has to face it alone! “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.“
So we may boldly say:
“The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me.” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV)
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)