It meant a 20-hour flight.
Meeting people I’d never met.
Staying in a remote village.
But I knew God wanted me to go.
He had opened the door to Africa. Lives are being changed by the Journey to Freedom process of transformation, and I wanted to share in the joy of their lives. But I have a fear of flying.
Fear always tells me, “Traveling on a plane is not worth the joy of being there. You could die. Horribly die.”
I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding planes. It stems from the car wreck I’ve written about in an earlier post. I have a fear of dying, and, in the past, I’ve controlled it by not putting myself in harm’s way.
And the secure thing would have been to decline the trip to Africa.
Declining the offer would keep me safe in my comfort zone.
I would’ve missed out on seeing changed lives and sharing in their joy, which meant I had a choice to make: Would I choose security or take an adventure with God?
Peter walked on the water while others trusted the safety of the boat. They were attached to the fear of the unknown and bound by the belief that—without a boat—water was not a sure foundation. Yet, they were one wave away from being tossed overboard into a raging storm. Still, they clung to false security and failed to take an adventure with Christ.
Peter made a conscious decision let go and step toward Christ—living in the joy of the moment. He wanted to follow his Lord’s bid to come to him on the water. He wasn’t calculating the distance or surveying the theories of physics. He freed himself of all attachments and took the leap.
When I see the world as a fearful place that I must protect myself from, then I do things to control my sense of security—which is always false security—and I miss out on being filled with joy and comfort and peace. I fall prey to the false belief that I’m in control of what happens to me, and I cling to safety and forfeit my adventure with God.
Yes, Peter sank the day he walked on water. He made the mistake of looking at the wind and the waves, instead of keeping his eyes on Christ. And fear told him he was drowning, that he had made a big mistake. But—even before Peter stepped out of the boat—he was safe in the arms of his Lord, because God has promised: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). And the Lord reached out and caught Peter.
Underneath the storm were the everlasting arms.
I’ve spent most of my life watching the wind and waves of a frightful world, never able to step out of my comfort zone, remaining in my boat of false security—afraid of venturing out into a world of possibility. Then I decided I was made for so much more. I had a destiny to follow, so I took the trip to Africa. I met beautiful people. It was a week of growth. I broke free from my prison of fear and discovered peace with God thousands of miles out of my comfort zone. I went on an adventure and discovered that the peace of God can overpower my moments of fear.
So free yourself. Step out of the boat of your false security. Begin again. Don’t let fear keep you from success.
Start the business you’ve always dreamed about. Take another chance with love. Pursue a college education. Have another child. Join a small group. Apply for your dream job. Write that novel.
Stop sitting in the boat watching other people live their dreams.
Stop looking at the winds and the waves.
Take the plunge. Do some water-walking. Take an adventure. Stop listening solely to fear.
And, yes, you could sink, but God’s everlasting arms are beneath you. You won’t drown.
And you won’t regret it. There’s a vast ocean of peace that awaits the fearless.