That, of course, was impossible. The pilot had announced we were cruising at an altitude of more than 35,000 feet. There was no getting off—at least, not for a while.
But it didn’t matter. My body was in full crisis mode. My heart pounded. I couldn’t catch my breath. I looked at the emergency exit and began to contemplate my options. I wonder if I can get that door open. I need to get air. I HAVE TO GET OUT!
I pushed the button for the flight attendant. She found a doctor on board, who sat with me and asked me what was wrong.
I told him I was experiencing an overwhelming feeling of being trapped and that I needed to get off the plane. He said, “Well, you know you can’t.”
I responded, “Yes sir, I know I can’t. But the desire is absolutely overpowering.” As we talked, I admitted to him that I was going through a very trying time. He encouraged me, and the panic began to subside. It has been more than twenty years since that experience, but it taught me something very important: For us to overcome our fears, it is crucial we unearth where they originate from, which then shows us what thoughts trigger them.
Once the doctor identified the difficult circumstances I was facing as triggering my emotions, I was able to give the situation to God fully and counteract my apprehensions with truth from His Word.
—Excerpt from chapter 5
About the Author
Dr. Charles F. Stanley is a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than sixty books, with sales of more than ten million copies. He has been senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia since 1971, and his outreach ministry—In Touch—reaches more than 2,800 radio and television outlets in more than fifty languages. Dr. Stanley was inducted into the National Religious Broadcaster’s (NRB) Hall of Fame in 1988. Dr. Stanley’s goal is best represented by In Touch Ministries’ mission statement: to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church. This is because, as he says, “It is the Word of God and the work of God that changes people’s lives.”