I recently had a really swell opportunity to visit Iceland this year, and little did I know, I had never seen a breathtaking view before this trip. I mean, I have seen some incredible creations, but God floored me, beyond what I thought possible, while I was there. I even have asthma, and never lost my breath like I did because of the views in Iceland.
When you’re in a place where see God so evidently through his creation, you never want to leave. You forget that you hate heights because your adrenaline takes over and you nearly run to the edge of a cliff — risking everything — just to take in the whole view. And when you almost fall off said cliff, it doesn’t even phase you, because if the God of the universe can create something this incredible, He will not take you home, even a second, before He wants to. I wasn’t about to waste this opportunity due to fear. I climbed mountains. Within two days, I was so familiar with what massive waterfalls felt like. I walked through a freezing cold river, in my only pair of dry shoes, just because I could. I told the people around me about Christ. I ran down a very dangerous black sand beach at midnight. And as we were walking away, we turned around, our footprints were completely washed away. (If that water had risen while we were standing there, we would’ve had no chance of surviving those waters.) Iceland was a way for my friends and I to experience the beauty of our creator unlike ever before.
This was the most fearless I’ve ever lived. And I did live. (Maybe we probably shouldn’t have done some of the things we did but I have no regrets.)
I don’t believe we are supposed to live reckless lives, though. I don’t believe God honours foolishness. I don’t think we are supposed to act foolishly and expect God to bail us out. However, when He calls us into the crazy, and into the wild, God will honour our obedience.
Through creation, Iceland made me realize I needed to have my cup empty of fear and full of courage. In the months since Iceland, I’ve been learning if we give Him our hands, empty and willing to be filled, He will fill them. But first, we’ve got to let go of everything we’re clinging to and that takes courage.
Courage begins with prayer. It truly does start on our knees. Frequently, consistently, and boldly.
Courage for me didn’t start in Iceland, though. It started around the same time — Iceland was just a really great jump-start week to conquering fear. I think its safe to say we’ve all probably been in a place where we were too scared to keep going. Regardless of if it’s a ride at the fair, or if it’s a trip of some sort, the expression ‘cold feet’ would be appropriate in this situation. One time I watched an episode of Myth Busters and they were testing to see if you actually get cold feet when you’re scared or if that’s just a myth. The hosts of the show had to come face-to-face with their biggest fears, while sporting a thermometer in their shoes. It was hilarious to watch them fly helicopters or have spiders crawl all over their faces. But it worked! And by the end of the episode, they had said that yes, one does get cold feet when their scared.
How then, does one find some socks? because God calls us into the wild — and that’s not going to be friendly. With all the schedules and society and bullying and struggles and loss out there — that’s anything but Insta worthy. The only answer is to take heart and be of good courage. Courage starts when we hit the floor praying — and praying expectantly for God to meet you where you’re at to rid you of your fears. The Christian walk was designed, in my opinion, to walk around with a little chill in your step. If my feet aren’t cold, then am I really trusting God enough? Get cold feet because you’re afraid, but do not let that fear hinder you from living well.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.6-7)
In my journal the other day I wrote: “Why isn’t my fear going away? I know God loves me and has a plan. I know whatever is about to happen, He will use it. And I know that I can do all things through Christ. So why am I scared? Why does it feel like He’s being silent? Why am I still walking through this darkness? Doesn’t He know that September is just around the corner, and the thought of the future makes me want to cry, not be thankful? I’m so frustrated and scared and I don’t know why He’s not giving me peace. I do know that He is good, though. And that He loves me. That should be enough, but I’m still so scared.”
Oh. Oh, me of little faith.
I was talking to a friend about praying specifically for peace. He and I both graduated from high school this year and we both have this fear about the fall. Although our situations are different, we’re still worried about what is our life going to look like, and if is it going to be okay.
We’re asking all the ‘normal’ questions (which I think are normal) like; Are the plans I made going to be enough? What if I never do what truly matters in life? Am I going to be okay? What if nothing works out & my life crashes and burns??
In my opinion, this fear is legitimate and also, not Biblical. I genuinely believe that He hears our prayers about fear, because He tells us over and over and over and over again in the Bible “DO NOT FEAR.” He wouldn’t tell us to abandon this emotion if He wasn’t going to 1. help us through it or 2. deliver us completely. He may just pass you a pair of socks because your feet are gonna be cold for a while. Or, He may just give you an instant, settling peace about whatever it is you’re worried about. Either way, we cannot (and we will not) live life fully when we’re worried over whatever it is we’re worried about.
I don’t know why God does what He does. I usually NEVER understand His timing and I can’t comprehend His ways. But I do know that He is good, and He will always, always do what is right. I do know that because we have a God who is in control, we don’t have to fear — we can place all our hope and trust in Him.
Okay? We don’t have to let our fears hold us back. Or make us quit uni or our gap-year plans before it even starts. You can say yes to that job. Or to that internship. Or to working at home. Or to fostering a child. Or to the unbelievably difficult thing that God is asking you to do, because He loves you. Possibly, He will pass you a pair of socks while you wait for him to change your heart, but it doesn’t start until your knees hit the floor. Your prayers are being heard, just keep praying. And keep praying.