Overcoming Fear When It Feels Impossible
(Here’s an amazing story about a serial killer.)
I used to be the co-host for a national television talk show. I’ll never forget my interview with guest Margy Palm, and likely after reading this, you’ll never forget it either. Her story is a stunning reminder as to why spending alone time with God each morning in His Word, even if it is just for five minutes, is not only life-giving but life-SAVING!
It was August 2000 when Margy encountered the most profound shopping trip of her life. Just one more errand and she would head home. Scurrying to her car as she left Kmart, she reached for her keys and unexpectedly felt a sharp jab in the side of her back. As she turned, her greatest fear became a ghastly reality. There he stood: the serial killer/rapist whose wanted posters clearly revealed his identity. What ensued was a nationally publicized kidnapping that riveted the nation. For ten hours she faced an invisible spiritual war—a stand-off between the forces of darkness and light.
Who of us has not experienced fear to one degree or another? Fear is that emotional foreboding or dread of impending danger that promotes paranoia. A person fears when they feel out of control or—as in the most severe cases like Margy’s—face murder, for goodness sake! Maybe as a mom we haven’t been kidnapped by a serial killer, but perhaps we’ve faced financial fear or the well-being-of-my-child fear or the what-am-I going-to-do fear. So what do we do with these fears? Ask Margy. As the kidnapping ordeal turned into hours, she had a choice to make: drastically trust God or succumb to the enemy and die.
Her interview was riveting, but here’s what grabbed my heart. Thoughts of sheer survival soon turned into thoughts of her captor’s eternal destiny, and within minutes she found herself sharing the love of Christ and His forgiveness. He listened...then suddenly snapped, as spiritual armies of evil raced to their highest peak. While crouched down in the front seat of her car with the gun on her back, the aggressor prepared to complete his original mission—kill! I couldn’t help but think of what I had recently heard about the word F.E.A.R…Face Everything And Run… or… Face Everything And Rise.
At that moment, Margy did the latter. She released her life to the Lord, turned to her assailant, laid hands on his head and called forth, “Greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world,” and then commanded the demon of murder to come out of him in Jesus’ name. Instantly, the intruder dropped the gun. An angelic silence interrupted the chaos. Yet Margy wasn’t finished yet. She led him in a prayer to receive Christ. The ordeal ended. The killer surrendered. The police came. America went wild with relief.
I asked Margy, “How did you stay so calm throughout this ten-hour horror?” She replied, “While thoughts of my family and kids kept rushing through my mind, I remembered what verse God had given me in my morning time with Him. In fact, as I was getting into the car at Kmart, I was rehearsing the verse out loud: “For I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
We never know how far God’s Word will travel in our day if we put it in our hearts first thing in the morning. His truths are not only life-giving but life-SAVING.