My friend and I sat drinking coffee, talking about how wonderful it would be to go on a retreat to spend time alone with God. She said, “Wouldn’t it be great to go all by yourself into the wilderness without being afraid?”
I imagined resting under the stars on a deserted beach with God whispering softly and waves hushing me quiet. Then the afraid part struck. Fear would creep up on me if I were alone in that unfamiliar place. I’m sure of it! I’d worry about wild creatures roaming the beach or worse, some crazy person stalking me.
I know fear. I have an anxiety disorder that sometimes causes panic attacks. There was a time when I became nearly housebound and unable to do what I wanted, a time when fear crippled my faith.
If I were alone on a wilderness retreat, I’d want God to put me inside His protective bubble and guarantee my safety. Then I’d be calm enough to rest in His presence.
We live in a dangerous world, and sometimes fear casts a shadow over faith. Frightened, we forget that even if our bodies are hurt or destroyed, our faith in Jesus Christ protects our souls forever. The truth is that God does put His children inside a protective bubble.
The Bible says,
“Yes, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38 (NCV)
Of course, being alone at night on a deserted beach isn’t a wise decision. I’ve used it here to illustrate that God asks us to step out of our comfort zones in faith. He beckons us into the wilderness of the future to draw nearer to Him and His plans for our lives.
The apostle Paul, who faced many frightening times alone, reminds us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
Is God tugging at your heart to step out alone in faith and meet Him in the wilderness? Does fear get in your way?
The wilderness—a new job, a changing relationship, moving to a new place—welcomes fear. But most of its fears are unnecessary. When we bring them to God in faith, they become small in His presence. Wherever we go in life, we are never alone because God is with us.