Everyone is afraid of something.
Whether it’s the fear of spiders, the fear of heights or the fear of being rejected, we all have something which strikes fear into our heart. I am not the kind of girl who gets frightened over spiders, snakes or dark spaces. Or even the thought of being rejected. But like every other human I have tendencies to be afraid of certain things. And one of those things is flying on airplanes.
I used to REALLY dread flying. In fact, I hated it. Even today, I can’t help but despise it. Flying makes my stomach turn cartwheels and my head dizzy. There have been times when I almost blacked-out while sitting there in my seat, trying to distinguish which side was up.
The thing is, I fly pretty often, so theoretically, my body should be used to it by now, right?
Well, it isn’t. But even though I still struggle physically with flying, at least my mental struggles have been calmed.
See, I used to lie in my bed at night picturing all the things that could go wrong on a commercial flight. I pictured planes doing double barrel rolls, or perhaps hurling into the Atlantic Ocean. The mental pictures I created sent shivers down my spine. Then came the dread. Dreading the next time my dad and I would travel somewhere for his work…flying on an airplane. I felt sick thinking about the flight ahead of me.
One particular trip, as my dad and I headed out the door for another of his conferences, Mom handed me a piece of paper. Glancing it over quickly, I found that she had written down multiple Scripture verses that talked about fear…and how to extinguish it. She reminded me to trust God and to pray for His help, that I would be strong and courageous. Her words were like a splash of cold water, refreshing and encouraging me.
Later, I did pray. I read the verses Mom had given me. I pleaded with the Lord, asking that He would banish the fear from my heart and help me to enjoy the flight. As our plane began to take off, and my stomach started rolling around again, I told myself everything was fine. I told myself I had nothing to be afraid of; I was a daughter of the King of Kings! He would take care of me.
We hit a little turbulence and my heart started pounding. My hands instinctively gripped the armrests beside me.
Relax, Leah. Loosen up. Relax. I heard the Holy Spirit coaxing me gently. Relax. It’s all under control.
And it was. I made myself calm down, and trust my Heavenly Father.
Before I knew it, the flight was nearly over and we were about to land. The Lord had kept His promise. He took care of me, and nothing crazy happened, after all.
Looking back, I wonder how I would have been if I had not prayed and put my trust in the Lord. By focusing on His Word in my time of fear, I was comforted and refreshed. By repeating those Bible verses my Mom gave me, I was strengthened and encouraged. God’s Word was like a balm of healing to my faithless heart.
How often do we let ourselves get wrapped up in worries and fears, when, if we were to turn to the Lord and focus on Him and His Word, we could be relieved of our anxieties?
How often do we forget to take our fears to God in prayer?
If He is powerful enough to create the entire universe, and all that is within, He is certainly powerful enough to help us banish fear from our hearts.