My trip to Uganda, Africa was only six weeks away.
Sitting there in the travel doctor’s office, we discussed the disease prevention necessary for that region. A nurse prepared a tray of vaccines and immunizations. She warned that one of them would be quite painful, which did nothing to calm my nerves. My dad went first, then it was my turn.
I spun my head away from the needles and prayed, trying to overcome my fear.
After receiving iron intravenously years before, I had a horrible reaction that caused me to go into anaphylactic shock. The trauma of that experience scarred my mind with anxious skepticism about how my body would react to medication given through shots or IV’s.
Although I was concerned about side effects, this treatment was the next crucial step before I could cross the ocean. It was better to be protected than to risk sickness and disease.
My only choice was forward. I breathed in and out slowly to calm myself as the nurse injected each shot into my arm. When we left the doctor’s office, I was shaken but extremely thankful to have survived receiving them without having an allergic reaction.
Realizing my helplessness and need for dependency on God to carry me through—no matter what came, even if my body couldn’t handle the vaccines—strengthened my faith and intensified my trust.
Although it’s part of our nature to have fear or uneasiness about the future on some level, we desperately need to overcome it in order to take those forward steps and to have joy!
The antidote to anxiety about the unknown is an abiding trust in God.
Not hesitant, partial trust, but an unquestioning trust that comes from the heart surrendered to continual prayer and thankfulness.
Paul says that is what brings true peace:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust Him in the dark—that is faith.” -C. H. Spurgeon
Every season has challenges we must brave to claim the beautiful things God wants to teach us. Sometimes they are costly and require tremendous leaps of faith; other times they take us a few feet from our comfort zones.
We have to weigh it out, fully recognizing what might be missed if we fail to trust the Lord with what lies ahead and rely on His strength to carry us forward.
Putting an unwavering trust in God when we’re afraid is enough to conquer every “what if.”
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4, NKJV)
A Sweet Surrender
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie ten Boom
What if my fear of allergic reactions had paralyzed me to the point I never left the states? It wounds my heart to think of what beautiful adventures I would have missed and what children I wouldn’t have hugged close and sung to in Uganda.
We must entrust our every breath and every second upon this earth to God’s capable, all-wise, hands, forsaking our bent towards anxiety over untraveled places. It’s a little incredulous, but the moment we surrender and “cast all our anxieties,” they evaporate.
“Casting all your anxieties upon Him for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Moving forward with joy
“If you can trust God to save you for eternity, you can trust Him to lead you for a lifetime.” -David Platt
Is there something God has put on your heart to do, but fears are holding you back?
Don’t let the untraveled or unknown intimidate you any longer.
Don’t be afraid to leave comfort and lean into Him for strength. Trust, friend. Just trust.
Joy will follow. Adventures are waiting.