It’s not every day someone asks you to purposely jump out of a perfectly good plane.
When my friend wanted to skydive for her 30th birthday, after some feeble resistance, I agreed. I’ve always joked that I’d never bungee jump, go spelunking, or [insert most any other extreme sport], but I would skydive. (Word to the wise: Never mention being willing to do something crazy to your crazy friend. You will find yourself in a crisis of belief.)
With a mere 3 years of “thirties wisdom” on my skydiving friend, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a few more life lessons and in that time I have drawn two conclusions:
1) Try. Try new things. Try scary things. And try to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God gives us a life that is meant to be lived with a myriad of opportunities, and I must try to make the effort.
2) God is sovereign. I exist for God’s glory and anything that happens in my life good or bad is for my benefit.
Therefore it makes perfect sense that I would jump out of a plane; however, the problem with my theories is that I like to be in control. Jumping out of a plane strapped to a stranger’s chest is not exactly being in control. So if I really believe I should try scary things and God is in control, why am I so resistant to tackle this fear head on?
When sharing those thoughts with a coworker, they reminded me that Scripture tells us that the number of an individuals days are determined by God (Job 14:5) and that we should be mindful of how limited our time is. “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4, NLT)
So if we know our time is short and God has ordained all of our days, why do we live in fear? And not just fear of performing extreme sports or living alone and having to deal with the Boogie Man all by ourselves.
We run from hard relationships, we are scared to do overseas missions, we’re afraid to conquer a bad habit, we’re hesitant to ask a friend about their spiritual life or just make poor decisions because we’re afraid God might not come through.
I’m definitely not saying skydiving is the cure for fear, but if you are anything like me, there are plenty of fears we need to face. Scripture holds so many promises of God’s presence, but as I think about standing on the edge of a plane door, I’m reminded of how Joshua rallied the Israelites as they left to conquer the Promise Land: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
As I look at the faraway ground and then to my trembling knees, that’s what I hope to be thinking. That my days are numbered and I can die in a car wreck or die skydiving, but I will have lived my life standing up to one less fear. And regardless, I have nothing to fear because the Lord is with me!
So on the next wind-free day, look up. You may see me floating by, facing my fear.
For the past 6 years, Taryn Freeze has served as the Director of Support Services at a faith-based non-profit organization. She’s madly in love with what she gets to do and still can’t believe she gets paid to help people and tell them about Jesus. When she was a kid, all she did was read; consequently, she was obsessed with going to the library. Taryn hates white condiments, collects Texas Rangers bobblehead dolls, and loves to scour antique shops. She has a goal of visiting every major league ballpark in America, but she’ll have to pull herself away from her Pinterest addiction in order to accomplish that goal. You can follow her on Twitter @tarynfreeze.