I've flown a fair amount during my lifetime and have experienced all sorts of responses: thrill, motion sickness, fear, fatigue, anxiety. What used to be sort of fun became fear-filled when I unexpectedly endured a minor "panic episode" on a flight back in June 2001. Several months later, of course, our nation grieved the loss of lives on 9-11 and I determined to NEVER fly again. Unless...I was able to one day visit my dream location, the United Kingdom. Last year that dream became a reality and I was willing to step foot on an airplane after twelve years in order to see the sights of London. Friends prayed for me, I memorized scripture related to overcoming fear, and I stepped out in faith. Since that trip, I've flown again several times and have realized that flying will perhaps always be a leap of faith for me. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to say, "I got this." And, I think that's probably a good thing. If I could handle all things, I would not need the Lord. Of course, none of us can handle all things, but often we are under the illusion that we can...or should.
When I am not stressed or going through a trial, I can believe that I am in control. I would venture to say that I feel like I have control of almost all of my circumstances. If I don't, then I don't want to be in that circumstance. This is seriously faulty thinking, though. In fact, it's prideful thinking. Whenever I am attempting to control my life (or others' lives), I am acting as Creator. Yet, as this creator, I only have imaginary powers. I imagine that I can cause others to do only what benefits me. I imagine that I have control over my health, my lifespan, even my salvation or right standing with God.
This is a post that could be elaborated upon many times over, but for now, a challenge to myself and to our readers: Do something hard. Something beyond your control. Are you frightened of something? Do it. Maybe you need to NOT do something. Instead of fretting, running around and trying to fix things, perhaps it's time to rest in God's power and control. Regardless, ask God to reveal more and more of your heart. If you are avoiding things because of fear or loss of 'your control', then know that you are also avoiding a dependence upon God and an opportunity to exercise faith in Him. To grow in our belief in Him, we must give ourselves up. As we trust more in God, He will guide us in dealing with tough situations or major trials with a peace that passes all understanding.
This kind of peace reminds me of a child and her unquestioning faith. On the descent from Detroit to Chicago, we experienced much turbulence. At one point, the plane seemed more like a roller coaster as people spontaneously exclaimed, "Wheeeee!" and my son raised his arms in delight. During this whole time, I was sober-faced and hanging onto my husband for dear life. He looked over at me, and then at my young daughter next to me, and laughed at the contrast. While I was 'preparing for the worst', she had her arms up in the air and singing "Everything is Awesome" with a big smile on her face.
Our heavenly Father has 'got this'. Let's have joy in the good...and in the bad...because He is in control, He is good and is working all things for our good. What do I have to fear? What can man do to me? Step out in faith and see Him at work in your life!