I remember a brief encounter with a young man named Robert that took place at a small airport when I was a student pilot more than 40 years ago. I am not sure why that conversation remains in my memory while so many others have not!

Robert had just flown solo in a small Cessna plane, and I asked him if he had been afraid. He replied, “Just a little,” paused, and added, “…terrifed.” His honesty and way of answering amused me then and brings a smile when I have recalled it through the decades since.

We never carried our conversation further regarding his fear of flying solo nor discussed his motivation to overcome his fear. I assume he continued his flying lessons and became a licensed pilot (although I did not). I imagine more flying solo lead to his fear gradually being replaced by more courage. Robert had flown solo that first time while feeling fearful showed he must have known hope as well.

I know a young sailing enthusiast who has been taking lessons and has sailed solo in a small sailboat. Earlier this year ten-year-old Bella overcame fear and demonstrated courage. While sailing solo and from a sitting position she leaned straight back parallel with the water with her head only inches above the water while controlling the boat as it sailed along.

Photos document her accomplishment, and the look on her face shows exhilaration not fear. It seems that once she performed this courageous action with success, she discovered how fun it was! Trying new activities often shows courage and gives hope in future endeavors.

Today many on our planet face some kind of fear, whether of a pandemic nature, financial loss, political upheaval, relational loss, career risk, personal failure, survival struggles, and on and on goes the never-ending list. Perhaps too often the fears are faced alone, although the healthiest way to cope may be to share with a trusted friend or a professional counselor depending on the degree of fear. Another option not considered enough is to take our burdens to the Lord God.

I do not know Robert’s source of strength and courage. I know Bella believes Philippians 4:13  that says, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” I think that belief gives her courage and hope.

I do not know how I would be able to face this world that is growing darker without experiencing the joy of the Lord as my strength and having a solid Biblical worldview. I know all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose as Romans 8:28 teaches. Such verses give me courage and hope.

I do not know your fears, strengths, or coping methods. I will urge you to seek the One Who created this universe and holds it together for the time being and Who has a plan and purpose for each of us. If you do not know Him nor His teachings please read His Holy Bible and seek Him with an open heart and mind.

You may be surprised to receive much more than courage and hope. With fear to lose, there is faith, love, forgiveness, peace, joy, and more to gain! The good news is that no one must face life solo.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with your whole heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

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