When I was 21, I traveled to England alone where I attended the University of London. The night before I was to board my flight, my host family called and said that I wouldn’t be able to come early like I planned, because they were leaving to go out of town. This meant I would be traveling to a city of 13 million people, and I had nowhere to go. Instead of panicking, I prayed, “God, please help.”
Out of the blue that same evening, Danny, a college friend from London who I hadn’t heard from for a couple years, telephoned. He was still living in the U.S. I told him about my problem. He said, “I will see if I can reach my sister, Julie. Maybe she is at my mom’s house in London. You can stay with my parents.” Not coincidentally, Julie was at her mother’s house when Danny called and offered pick me up from the airport. God had provided.
When I look back at this memory, I am amazed I wasn’t frightened since I was on the verge of being temporarily homeless. People have asked me regarding my trip to London and other overseas adventures, “Weren’t you scared?” Honestly, I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times I have been afraid in life, but in these cases, the passion and excitement I felt for what was coming were so big that they trumped fear.
My mind was focused on what I would see in London and the new friends I would make,. I wasn’t thinking about what could go wrong; I was focused on what could go right—and that made all the difference.
When Nehemiah approached King Artaxerxes to ask for permission to go to the Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and for building supplies, he said he was “very much afraid.” But fear didn’t stop him because the passion to rebuild the wall had consumed him.
When what you want is bigger than what you fear, you will go after your passion in the face of fear. Your passion will always win when it trumps fear.
I few years ago, I spoke with someone about a ministry idea. This person had good intentions. They were trying to be helpful. They told me not to go forward with the idea because, “It could go wrong, and that could be really bad.” My response was, “Yes, that’s true. But it could go really well too.”
I’m not saying there aren’t times to exercise caution, or that others may be able to help us see blind spots, but there are times when it is appropriate to let the your God-given passion lead, and focus on the good that could be yours—and the good you could do for God when you step out in faith in the face of fear.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)