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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : religion : religion October 31, 2020

8/23/2020 12:11:00 AM
Fearless Faith
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith
Guest Columnist

Sometimes an experience will change you and give you a revelation. When we live abundantly, we take advantage of new opportunities that give us deeper questions to explore. My life changed recently when I went tandem skydiving for the first time with my son. Neither one of us had ever done it before, but the testimony of others who had successfully jumped out of an airplane for fun convinced us to try it ourselves.

Tandem partner skydiving has made the sport accessible for millions of people because the unexperienced person can be harnessed to an expert who does all the work. Before you can tandem jump, they make you watch a frightening video that explains the different things that can go wrong and how you can die. Then they ask you to sign many legal forms releasing them of all liability if you are injured or lose your life. Accidents and malfunctions are very rare, but they do happen. What blows my mind is that after seeing the video and realizing I would be trusting a total stranger with my life; I signed the papers without hesitation!

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.

Proverbs 3:5-6     
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 and she can be reached at 828-962-8196, or PO Box 3311, Hickory, NC 28603

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