After ten minutes of training, I was strapped into my gear and while walking towards the plane, I felt excitement and a great peace. With the door of the plane open at 14,000 feet, I had no fear. When I sat in my 22-year-old tandem partner’s lap and felt him tighten our harnesses together I was totally calm. My instructions were to let go and let him do everything. As he carried us towards the door of the plane, I was ready to jump. When he pushed us out into a free fall I was smiling. I can honestly say I never felt one moment of fear. My son and I enjoyed it so much we did it again three days later.
This kind of fearless faith has changed me. I am normally somewhat cautious and can battle with anxiety against known and unknown dangers that seem like threatening black clouds on the horizon of life. My relationship with God is strong. I trust Him to be with me in the valleys and on the mountaintops, but many times my faith has an undercurrent of fear. I trust God, but at the same time fear lurks in the background of my spirit in the “what ifs” of life that lead to doubt and fear. I jumped out of an airplane with a stranger and had no fear. How can I have this same fearless faith with God?
Now I realize more clearly that the key to fearless faith is in the total surrender of control. Skydiving seems scary, but life is scary too. Serious illness, accidents, unemployment, financial crisis, severe family trouble, change and the unknown can all be frightening. In those times we need to let go and let God, but that is easier said than done – even for a pastor! I see how profoundly I need the Holy Spirit to help me surrender my will, pry my fingers off the controls of life and trust that God will show me what to do in every situation.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Rev. Smith is the Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church www.exodusmissionaryoutreachchurch.org and she can be reached at 828-962-8196, firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 3311, Hickory, NC 28603
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