My brain suddenly “shut down.” One minute I was working and the next minute I was crying
profusely for no apparent reason. I was having a panic attack. There was no way I could
continue functioning in the classroom the remainder of the day. I couldn’t let my students see
me in this condition, so I had to go home. This was the beginning of my journey through the
valley of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
I went home and went to bed. Once in bed, it became a major ordeal to get out of bed and
try to accomplish the simplest tasks. I didn’t feel like leaving the house
other than my doctors’ visits. My home became my sanctuary where I could isolate myself from
the world. I didn’t even want to go to church, even though I was the pastor’s wife. Some of the
medicine they prescribed had negative side effects which made things worse.
It was while in this darkness of anxiety and depression that I discovered praise and worship
music. As I listened to the songs, an unexplainable calm would come over me. I believe this
calming effect was the presence of God. I began playing worship music over and over again
because it brought a sense of peace into my turmoil. I began to see a light at the end of the
tunnel. As I listened to the worship music playing, I would cry out to God to heal my soul, my
spirit, and my mind. It got my mind off my circumstances and onto my Father God, how much
He loved me, saw where I was, and how I felt.
The Bible speaks of the calming effect of music. In I Samuel 16:23 it says, “Whenever the
spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come
to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” David was a very expressive
psalmist who must have known how to effectively use his music to bring calm to King Saul. In
Exodus 23:25, God spoke to the children of Israel saying, “Worship the Lord your God, and His
blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.” Acts
Chapter 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas being stripped, beaten, and thrown in a dungeon
with stocks fastened to their feet. In this miserable place, Paul and Silas were praying and
singing hymns to God. As a result, there was an earthquake so severe that it opened all the
prison cell doors and freed Paul and Silas. The guard was ready to kill himself, but Paul told him
not to because all of the prisoners were still in the jail. None had escaped. The guard and his
family became believers. In this story, praise and worship became the literal tool of freedom
from a dark prison.
Worship is an invaluable tool in the process of healing, whether it is a physical or a mental
healing. It can calm an anxious heart, alleviate a panic attack, or lift the spirit of depression if
we allow it to. It invites God into our world so that He can bring about the miracle we are
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