The Fear Factor
11 Jul 2016
OK, so I am not the bravest of women. Not the type to enjoy a good thrill ride at Luna Park. Not the type to strap myself to a skydiver (even if he is the spitting image of Chris Hemsworth) and be hurled from a plane. I am up for an adventure though, especially when I know that the Lord is in it with me.
This precarious balance between disabling fear and the joy of a true adventure was tested many times while I was living in Nepal with my husband and 3 young children. It started with a death defying bus ride whizzing ‘round bends on the side of a cliff, the fast flowing river below. I closed my eyes and pretended I was somewhere else. Then there was my 1 year old with pneumonia when the nearest reliable medical help was a 30 hour bus ride away. I fretted, I prayed and I cried (a lot of each). God sorted it out. The fears were put in their place, and the spirit of adventure grew in my heart. I can live in this beautiful, ancient culture; I thought bravely.
But there were always new fears to be faced. Let’s take for example my love/hate relationship with our family motorbike. With one kid in front strapped to me with a belt, and another behind me in a baby back-pack, it was a nerve racking ordeal, especially by the time I reached my seventh spill. Yet, when I was on my own, I truly loved riding around town on that motorbike. There were other frightening things: There were bomb threats at the kids’ school. There was an uprising of Maoists. There was a royal massacre when the Crown Prince killed off most of the royal family. And don’t even get me started on my fear of germs!
What on earth was God thinking sending me to Nepal? The biggest chicken of all missionaries was I!
And yet, God in his lavish grace was teaching me to be brave, to live life on the edge, to love an adventurous life, and to see Him come through for me again and again. What an incredible joy and privilege it was to live in the kingdom of Nepal and serve King Jesus. How often fear tried to steal my joy, and shut me down, making me of no use to anyone. But I found that fear is a selfish kind of indulgence. The bible tells us that there is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear. Wow. Addressing my fears is not my own private battle, it’s not an exercise in mind over matter. It’s about God’s perfect love for me, and in response, me trusting my loving father to work all things together for good, and that includes the good, the bad and the scary.
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