Do you ever have those moments where you're doing something and it brings you back to a time when you were doing the same thing? That happened to me the other night while I was trying to fall asleep.
I was just laying in my bed, and it brought me back to my trip to Poland over a year ago. My team had just arrived in Poland after 30 some hours of travel. We were tired and hungry, and the first thing we did once we got into Poland was travel to our hotel, eat traditional Polish sandwiches and some chocolate, shower and go to bed.
While I was laying in bed in my own home, it brought me back to laying on a couch-turned-bed in Poland. It was my first official night thousands of miles away from Pennsylvania. While I was excited for the six weeks ahead, I was also terrified. I remember laying on that bed with a few tears streaming down my cheeks as I pondered the unknown and sought comfort in God.
My thoughts: What have I done? I'm thousands of miles away from home. I don't really know a single person here, and I'm here for the next six weeks.
Something joyful and exciting brought me anxiety and fear.
Thinking about it a year later in the comfort of my own home made me chuckle. What was I thinking? Why was I so terrified? I was only going to be there for six weeks, so why didn't I take in the joy of being abroad that first night?
Well, I was fearful of the unknown.
I'm finding that fear of the unknown often robs me of experiencing joy and contentment in the midst of new and exciting seasons. Not only that, but when I'm fearful of the unknown, I'm not trusting God, who promises in His Word that He is before us.
Looking back, I didn't have to be afraid of the unknown during my time in Poland. God had my trip perfectly planned out, and it was one of the best experiences of my life, getting to see God at work amongst the nations.
In fact, I think what I learned the most from my time overseas is that God is always with me. He's with me in foreign nations, in foreign stores, and in all future events and times. Having faith in that truth is what enabled me to trust Him in the midst of unknowns in Poland. Having faith in that truth is what enables me to trust Him in the midst of unknowns now. God is with us and before us, and His Word promises that and we see it many times in Scripture. But the passage of Scripture that always encourages me when I'm fearful of the unknown is Deuteronomy 31:1-7
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Moses tells this to Joshua when Joshua succeeds Moses. Joshua is the one that will be leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, and there are a lot of unknowns ahead, but Moses encourages Joshua that the Lord will be with him.
This encourages me when I'm faced with unknowns. When I don't know, God does know, and He goes before me. And if you're facing an unknown, God goes before you as well, and you can trust that He is already there.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Faith > Fear. You can read all the posts in the series here.
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