I heard a story about a man named Nick. He was a big, strong, tough man. He had worked out in the railroad yards for many, many years. He was one of the company's most reliable employees. But Nick was a chronic worrier. He was always fearing the worst and talking about what might happen.
One summer day, the crew was told that they could leave an hour early to attend a birthday party of one of the foremen. Nick was out working in one of the refrigerated boxcars when somehow he accidentally got locked inside. He didn't have a cell phone or radio, and everybody else was gone. When he realized he was trapped in that car, he began to panic. He started screaming at the top of his lungs. He beat on those doors hour after hour until his fists were bloody. He finally had his voice give out. Nick was very aware that he was in a refrigerated boxcar. He guessed that the temperature was well below freezing. He began to fear the worst. He thought, "If I don't get out of here, I could freeze to death. There's no way I can make it all night." The more he thought about it, the colder he got. Shivering almost uncontrollably, he found a piece of cardboard in that boxcar. He wrote a note. It said, "So cold. Body getting numb. These may be my last words."
The next morning when the crew came in and opened the big steel doors, they saw Nick's body curled up over in the corner. The autopsy revealed that indeed, he had frozen to death. Here's the amazing part of the story. The refrigeration unit in the car Nick was in that night was never even on. The temperature in that car where he froze to death was 61 degrees. Nick froze to death because he was convinced in his thinking that he was in a freezing car. The thing he feared came upon him.
Let me ask you. Do you fear freezing to death, so to speak, even though it's 61 degrees? Fear blows things out of proportion. Fear makes problems much bigger than they really are. Maybe what you're fearing is never even going to happen. Maybe that obstacle that looks permanent is really only temporary. Perhaps like Nick, you feel trapped. Everything tells you, "You'll never get out. You'll never get ahead. You'll never get well. You'll never get married."
No, God is saying, "Don't worry. The refrigeration unit is not on. I've got you in the palm of My hand. No weapon formed against you is ever going to prosper." It may feel dark and lonely or look like it's not going to work out, but God is saying, "If you will stay in faith, I will deliver you. I will protect you. I will heal you. I will vindicate you. I will restore you. I will not only bring you out, I'll bring you out better off than you were before!"
"The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1, NIV)