Sometimes people have a physical or medical condition that contributes to their being fearful.
So again, Gideon’s troops are thinned! This time God is looking for fearless men who are fervently committed to engaging the enemy in battle, men who will keep pursuing the enemy even when hungry, thirsty, and exhausted.
God has Gideon lead the thirsty men to water where He separates those who kneel to drink from those who lie on their stomachs, lapping water like dogs. The 300 who scoop water into their hands and lap while maintaining vigilance – become God’s chosen army to be led by Gideon in defeating the monstrous army of the Midianites. “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.’ ” (Judges 7:7)
Sometimes people have a physical or medical condition that contributes to their being fearful. There is no indication of a physical cause for Gideon’s fear … no coronary condition, no blocked arteries, no heart attack. Rather, God sees something in Gideon’s heart that is fatal to faith – a fortress of fear, albeit crumbling, but still standing after living so many years under terror and tyranny. His residing fear is the result of how he has viewed his situation, how he has viewed his insufficiency, and how he has viewed God as having no real commitment in spite of His promises.
Some people, however, experience fear and anxiety when no fearful situation exists … and they become further frustrated when they try to talk themselves out of their anxious feelings – but to no avail. They have no idea their feelings may simply be a reaction to something physical, such as a particular medication or illness.
If you are suffering with a level of anxiety that is interfering with your normal functioning, seriously consider the following steps:
· First, obtain a thorough medical check-up: Tell the doctor that you feel unusually anxious. Be specific – While you cannot be genetically predisposed to panic attacks, you may be psychologically predisposed to having them; If you do not get substantial help, get a second opinion from a medical doctor who specializes in anxiety disorders. “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” (Proverbs 18:15)
· Consider your medical condition: Especially to be evaluated are heart, endocrine system, respiratory, metabolic, and neurological conditions. Identify any deficiency in the B-vitamins, niacin, pyridoxine, calcium, or magnesium; The medical world has a classification called Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition. This name clearly indicates that a person’s poor physical health can contribute to fearful anxiety or even to panic attacks.
· Consider your exposure to substances: A condition known to cause fearful anxiety is called Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder; Any exposure to toxins, all drugs, medications, vitamins, and minerals – legal and illegal, over-the-counter and prescription – should be evaluated, along with food substances (for example, caffeine or sugar).
Regardless of your affliction – whatever the suffering – know that your heavenly Father loves you, listens to you, and will help you. “He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” (Psalm 22:24)