In a panic I reached for my phone to text a trusted friend. I was scheduled to fly out of state in two days and I was suddenly gripped with an illogical fear that I might not make it home again.
Irrational thoughts had haunted me for days: What if I didn’t make it home again? How would my husband know what happens with the kids every day? All of the key phone numbers he might need would be in my phone… with me … and not available to him. What about those promises I made to my daughter about making a special recipe with her? Who would be my son’s personal alarm clock for school in the morning? In a frenzy I wrote out as many details as I could think of, leaving instructions on the desk and kitchen counter. I prepared little love notes to post on my husband’s and kids’ bathroom mirrors. You could say that I was doing the “wise” thing to be prepared for any eventuality. But I was still feeling extremely anxious and agitated. I kept taking deep, deep breaths, trying to calm my racing pulse and untwist the knots in my stomach. This was – FEAR.
I hadn’t flown in a very long time. It had been even longer since I had flown alone, without my family. Flying is unusual for us. But when we have done it together, I have settled any fears of what might happen with the knowledge that whatever we encountered, we would be together. Thoughts of this particular trip – alone – seemed to rattle me more than usual.
The Lord was nudging me to send that text. I knew that as a redeemed child of God, lovingly protected and provided for by HIM at every turn, this fear was worse than illogical – it was allowing doubt to creep in. I trust my Savior with my eternal security. Surely He is willing and able to see me safely through this weekend trip. And if He did have other plans, I could certainly trust Him with those as well! So why was I such a mess? I needed the voice of truth! I needed to hear myself say these crazy “what-ifs” out loud and hear that trusted friend meet my insanity with God’s eternally unchanging Words of truth!
And she did just that. In kindness, she didn’t ridicule my anxieties. She didn’t laugh. She didn’t scold. She simply reminded me of who God is and steadied me with scripture:
“Perfect love drives out fear. I John 4:18 – God will be with you. Isaiah 41:10 – He has a plan for this trip, for each day. Psalm 139:16 – The devil may be trying to cast doubt, to distract you from God’s purposes in this trip, but God will be faithful to use it all to grab your attention and fix your eyes on Him and His plans for you in each moment. You can trust Him to provide for you and to protect you… and to take care of your family at home.”
She quoted the very timely lyrics from a Casting Crown’s song, “Voice of Truth”:
“Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith to step out of my comfort zone to the realm of the unknown where Jesus is – and He’s holding out His hand… the voice of truth says, “do not be afraid!” and the voice of truth says, “this is for My glory”… choose to listen and obey the voice of truth.”
She prayed for me. And in her prayer, she appropriately poured out her heart in adoration and worship for this great God whom we trust! She reminded me in her own heart’s posture about the God to Whom I can bring all of my anxious thoughts… to the One who is “holy, Holy, HOLY!!!” With each successive and increasingly emphatic mention of that word “holy” I felt my shoulders drop, my breathing slow, and my white-knuckled grip on those fears relax with the KNOWING that I could not be in better hands! My God is holy, Holy, HOLY. He is Almighty! He is eternal. He is always in control and completely trustworthy.
Whatever path He might call me to walk – whether I travel or stay home! – is for my ultimate good and to be used for His glory! The only appropriate response was to bow in worship to Him and acknowledge that He is Lord of my life. The energy that was being wasted on “what-ifs” was instantly redirected to the only rightful recipient – our great God.
The Lord nudged me to send that text because He knew that my friend would be faithful to meet my illogical, irrational, out-of-control fear with Godly wisdom. His wisdom would replace my fears, calm my spirit and draw me to Himself in confident surrender to His best plans.
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield in sweet reasonableness, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality [predetermined thinking] and without hypocrisy [acting in a way that goes against claimed beliefs or feelings]. – James 3:17
My trip was pleasantly uneventful. I felt reassured at every turn that the Lord had made abundant and gracious provisions for my every need. My flight home was late afternoon on a Sunday and I had been happily reassigned to a window seat. When we soared above the clouds, into deep blue sky, the sun was brilliant! Later in the flight, I had the joy of witnessing the sunset from the air for the very first time. It was equally breathtaking! The rainbow colors across the sky seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see in all directions. It reminded me of the descriptions of God’s rainbow encircled throne in Revelation. I can only imagine that God’s throne room is immeasurably bigger and the colors even more intense and brilliant! The rainbow I was looking at from the sky was bigger than any I had ever seen and yet it will be dwarfed by God’s eternal and staggering creative power displayed in our eternal home.
Utter gratefulness filled my heart as I realized how my fear-filled trip was ending in such a sweet spot. The truth of God’s Word and His promises had shifted my focus from my fears to the God who writes my story. He had trained my heart to watch vigilantly for exactly what new pages He would unveil in this one weekend. As we began our final descent toward home, He granted me one of His extravagant gifts with that rainbow sunset from the sky – and reminded me again that His promises are true and trustworthy! He is eternal God. He is holy, Holy, HOLY. His very nature quiets my anxiety and reminds me that He’s got me. I surrender again to His sovereign hand upon my life and simply bow before Him in utter praise and thanksgiving!
Read more here! – Joshua 1:9 – Psalm 34 – Psalm 56:3 – Isaiah 41:10-14 – Zephaniah 3:17 – Philippians 4:6-7 – 2 Timothy 1:7 – Revelation 4