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Lean Into the Unexpected

Packing for vacation, the fear creeps in, settling in my over-night bag alongside my toothbrush. “Hope we don’t have a car crash. I’d hate for anyone to see our messy house, and have to sort through all this clutter.”

I expect it, that thought. It comes nearly every time I’m preparing to go out of town. It’s usually highway-related. And I know its partner thought will soon follow. “This is too risky. We should just stay home. Then I’ll have time to sort some of the clutter.”

The thing is, I love to travel. The idea of staying at home in my familiar, comfortable routines, worn like wide footpaths, is crushing. No. Way. But I’m not blind to the reality that, yes, bad things can happen. Awful things.

If I’m not alert, I’ll get slowly paralyzed by the tension between the ideas: God is good and always in control, but we live in a chaotic world where actions cause unexpected reactions. How can I balance what I know is true?

He has not given me the spirit of fear

…and yet, there it is. Hmm, not from the Father, so where does the fear come from? I don’t like to think about the enemy messing around in my mind, upsetting my heart. But the verse states it pretty clearly.

It’s not as if I’m being called to step out of the boat and walk on the waves. But it can still feel like I’m drowning when I take my eyes off Him. Peter only started to sink into the sea when he focused on the impossible, rather than on the One who makes all things possible.

Fear motivates my sin

Fear fueled our fall from the perfect fellowship of Eden: fear that He’s holding out on us, that He’s being unfair, that He doesn’t know us like we know us. And fear is what separates us from Him still, even after we’ve accepted His grace.

If I want intimacy with the Creator, I have to trust Him with a child’s faith. He’s bigger than me, He’s stronger than I am, and He knows infinitely more than I ever will. Certainly he’s able to keep me safer than I can keep myself.

Fear robs me of the present

If I’m living in the “What-if”, I miss out on the now – moments of grace and goodness flowing past me like dandelion fluff in the wind. They’re moments I can hold in my hand for a brief time, ones that I ignore when I’m thinking about regrets or worries.

If I truly want to fight fear, I have to affirm His promises daily. I make a conscious choice to believe them. Because you know what? I really do believe them. But if I don’t remind myself, it’s all too easy to focus on worry—the chaos that bends us away from trust.

Now, when the panic threatens me with worst-case scenarios, I greet it and keep working through my vacation to-do list. I can’t control safety, not really. Those thoughts are only the disguised original lie of the enemy, that we can protect ourselves better than God. I won’t shy away from the adventures he’s called me to live.

How do you keep focused on His face instead of the waves?

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Cole Smith

Cole Smith

Cole Smith is a writer, teacher, and mountain biker in West Virginia. She enjoys good coffee and great stories. She shares inspiration, encouragement, and tips for creative overwhelm at Cole Smith Writes.
Cole Smith

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6 Comments

  1. Sarah Robinson on April 19, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Not projecting f.e.a.r. (future events appear real) has been the most transforming practice of all of the disciplines I exercise, except for prayer. We travel so much, our toiletry bags and carry-ons are always at the ready. But I’m not immune to those voices, and I shout “Ditto!” to the “God did not give us a spirit of fear…”” 2 Tim. 1:7 Well, if it’s not of Him, then it’s of the enemy.
    Thanks for these reminders.

    • Cole // Cole Smith Writes on April 20, 2018 at 6:15 AM

      It’s been a challenge to admit some fears are just the way my mind works and not true reality. Like, I thought when we got an automatic, I’d feel better driving, but now I wrestle with the same anxiety transferred to new fear: what if a deer jumps out and totals this car, why is that guy tailgating–he’s going to total this car, etc. Ha, it’s not the car, it’s my brain! Definitely working on the renewing of my mind 🙂

      • Sarah B. Robinson on April 20, 2018 at 5:35 PM

        Time to up the volume on that playlist. Maybe time for some new CD’s. 🙂

  2. Jen on April 23, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    I never really made the connection that fear motivates my sin, but it sure does! It’s kept me from being obedient more times than I can count.

  3. Andrea Frazer on April 27, 2018 at 2:10 PM

    Good reminder for me. I have always heard feat your stands for Forget Everything and Run and we need to change it to “Face Everything and Rise

  4. Andrea Frazer on April 27, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    “Fear” not feat your ?

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