When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
Recently we took a trip to Costa Rica (in Central America) and I had a chance to deal with one of my fears. Costa Rica is a wonderful country to visit, unless you’re afraid of heights like me. The problems started in the car before we even reached the hotel. The mountain roads are steep, made of gravel, and they hang off the side of the mountain. If you happen to miss one of the hairpin turns, the plummet down would be hundreds of feet to a fiery demise.
And then there’s the hanging bridges which bounce and shake as you walk across the span of a deep gorge. One of them had wooden planks that were falling out and I would have sworn it came from one of the Indiana Jones movies.
As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to go zip lining. Yes, I was determined to conquer this fear. A tram took us up to 600 feet off the rainforest floor and six zip lines were to take us down. Once you traveled the first line, you had to finish because there was no other way off the mountain. I watched at least ten people go down that first one, making sure no one died, before I got the nerve to try.
I stepped up, they hooked up my harness, and let me go, screaming all the way.
I prayed (and screamed) the whole way—mostly screamed—and kept my eyes shut. On the other side, I could barely breathe and I couldn’t believe I’d done it.
Shaking like a leaf, I did the next one (still screaming) and peeked my eyes open just a little. I discovered, if I could get over the fear, the view was more than beautiful. A huge valley stretched out between the jungle-covered mountains and beyond was more mountains and verdant forest. A display of majesty only God could have created and only God and the zip liners could see.
More than once my life has been just like that. If I can get over the fear (the worry, the stress), the view is spectacular and I get a little glimpse of what God sees.
Although, I didn’t cure my fear of heights completely that day (I’m never going zip lining again), I experienced the joy of stepping out in faith, knowing God was out there. What joy is awaiting you along the crazy zip line of your life? Will you look beyond your fear to see it?
Dear Lord, thank you for all the places You meet us, in our daily lives and in the terror of the moment. Give us Your peace for all those things which scare us. Help us to step out with faith in You. In Jesus’s name, amen.