You’ve felt it, right?
Skin tingling, warm neck, heart palpitations….
Compliments of FEAR that rises in your belly even though your mind tries to be rational.
My daughter used to scream whenever she saw a spider on the wall. Using a tissue, I’d grab the innocent, unsuspecting creature, and flush him down the toilet.
“How can you do that?” she’d ask.
Because I’m not afraid of spiders.
I am, however, afraid of falling from great heights.
A few weeks ago, my husband offered to buy me lunch at Half Moon Bay near San Francisco. Instead of driving four hours, he wanted to fly me there in a two passenger (tandem seating) Citabria. Otherwise known as a taildragger plane.
“It’s only a two-hour flight,” he said. “It’ll be fun!”
Flying, fun? I had a panic attack before I got into the plane.
It’s not that I don’t trust my husband as a pilot. He has thousands of flying hours. But there’s something about sitting in a small area (behind the pilot) with a few inches of light-weight materials (metal, wood, fabric) between me and 3,000 feet of space that makes me….AFRAID!
However, I wanted to be courageous.
While Husband flew the plane, I made myself smile and repeat the Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do this…even this.
I also listened to a podcast on anxiety.
The narrator’s soothing voice instructed me to, “Place both your feet on the ground.”
That’s the problem. My feet aren’t on the ground.
Smells like jet fuel.
“Close your eyes. What do you hear?”
The loud rumble of a single engine with a propellor which I pray doesn’t quit in midair.
Such were my anxious thoughts while my sweaty hands clung to each side of the plane. Not unlike the way I cling to the metal cage of a ferris wheel. As if that would cushion my fall!
When the plane finally landed near the Pacific Ocean, my husband mentioned the breathtaking scenery we’d flown over. I couldn’t comment. I missed most of it because my eyes were squeezed shut.
As for lunch, I didn’t have an appetite. I stared at the menu, wondering, How much is a bus ticket home?
Do I hear laughter? He who is without fear cast the first stone.
Fear is first mentioned in Genesis when Adam told God, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” (3:10)
God knows our propensity to be afraid.
Afraid of objects. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of change.
Afraid of death, man, failure, rejection.
And yet, whenever fear is mentioned in the Bible, scripture reminds us that in every situation—even death—God is always present and all-powerful.
“Therefore, we will not fear though…..”
I know this to be true. And “the truth,” Jesus said, “will set you free.” This includes freedom from worry and fear.
That means I must habitually renew my mind by immersing myself in God’s Word in order to know the truth.
And then cling to Truth regardless of sweaty hands.
Otherwise, I’ll fly through life with my eyes closed. Unable to enjoy the journey.
What makes you afraid?