Of the four choices listed below, which letter best represents living a fearless faith?
A. Jumping out of an airplane believing the parachute on your back will open at just the right time.
B. Climbing up a sheer rock wall in Smith Rock, Oregon.
C. Traveling to London and Paris for 3 weeks with your 21-year-old daughter.
D. None of the above
My answer is “C.”
An indisputable and resounding “C.”
The reason for my choice is that traveling to London and Paris with my daughter, Lian, that began on August 13th and ended on August 31st, required of me a tremendous amount of faith in God to help me conquer my numerous fears that were both real and imagined. I haven’t been to Europe in 33 years, and when I was last there, my youth and naivety shielded me from any fear of the world being a scary, dark place.
For many months leading up to boarding our first flight on August 13th out of Medford, Oregon, I prayed to God on numerous occasions for the following:
- Please God, I pray that my daughter and I will still like each other after spending 19 days together.
- Oh Lord Almighty, I would appreciate it if we could avoid being a part of any history making events such as terrorist attacks.
- Father, please alleviate my fear that we will miss any or all of our scheduled modes of transportation that we have paid good money for such as 6 synchronized scheduled flights, 1 Eurostar train, 1 tour bus and 1 very important bus to the Paris airport for our exit out of Europe.
- Please God, help my daughter and I to not lose our passports or be pickpocketed and be left with no money and no way back into the United States.
- Lord, when we get to Paris, help us to not be intimated by the beautiful French language that will be completely foreign to our ears, and help us to say “bonjour” and “merci” in a non-offensive way.
- Please God, help me be a cool mom who goes with the flow and “chills out” when things are not going as planned.
- And Lord, it would be a wonderful bonus if all national monuments that we visit have a bathroom (or toilette as they say in London and Paris) and most importantly – one will be waiting for me at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
On the afternoon of August 31st, my daughter and I exited the small Alaska Airline aircraft onto the tarmac of the Medford airport. We looked up to the smokeless, blue Oregon sky and the lush green hills and felt the victory of living a fearless faith in Europe. We thanked God for answering all our prayers. The trip was an absolute success! And the bathroom at the very top of the Eiffel tower – a most wondrous miracle and answered prayer.
We came, we saw, and we conquered by faith.
I have come to realize that living a fearless faith does not require undertaking outrageous acts of valor and courage but rather simply choosing to do something that is out of my comfort zone. What may be a fearless act of faith for me, may be instinctual and easy for someone else, but that does not make my faith any less fearless.
I have learned that to live a fearless life as a disciple for Jesus, I need to also conquer the small and big, real and imagined fears in my life one fear at a time with the faith God gives me. Then when God calls me to share my faith with a stranger, or reconcile with a friend who hurt my feelings, or apologize for saying a mindless, insensitive comment to my daughter (even if she is lecturing me on how mindless and insensitive I can be) or decide to love my aging body in a world that is obsessed with youth, I can do it. The verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds me that I don’t have to be controlled by my fears:
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
I believe that the reason my daughter and I were able to live a fearless faith while in Europe is because we acknowledged our fears (99% of the fears were mine) and we gave them to God. We opened the Bible every morning together and read and discussed a verse and prayed about our day. Lian became a student and quick learner of the Tube and Metro train systems; so much so that she insisted that I learn it too, so she became my mentor of all things mobile. We were careful to zip up our purses and back backs and we didn’t flash our 50-euro bill for all to see when we paid for something.
Are you living your life with a fearless faith? Think of maybe 3 or 5 things you have been afraid to step out and do and just do it. Perhaps it will take some research or mentoring or practice before it is accomplished but taking one small step at a time will get you there. Living a fearless faith doesn’t require you jumping out of a plane to prove your coolness factor. Living a fearless faith is simply stepping out of your comfort zone and no matter how small an act it may be to someone else, it will be your victory and it will increase your faith in a Sovereign and Almighty God.
Below are some highlights of our trip that were daring acts of faith to us.
Taking a tour bus to the city of Bath, England and walking near the 10,000 year old water.