After digging through my room for my duffel bag, I shook it open and placed it on my bed. Next, I began to eye the pile of clothes intended to fit neatly inside. I quickly learned a couple things: I need to clean my room so finding my duffel isn’t so difficult in the future, and I need to condense my clothing options. It wasn’t going to fit in the duffel bag. I’m just going to openly admit it—I am an over-packer. No matter what trip I’m taking, I like to have several clothing options. How do I know what kind of outfit I’ll want to wear on day 3? It seems logical to me. I need options and space in my duffel to pack accordingly.
Well, the problem this time was that I didn’t have the space, and I knew it. To make matters worse, we were told to leave extra room in our bags for a couple reasons. First of all, we’d be walking around and needing to carry the bags, so a loaded duffel bursting at the seams wouldn’t be the most ideal thing to lug around. And second, we needed to leave room for what we wanted to buy and take back home.
I began to strategize what I should leave behind and what was essential for this trip. Then I stopped for a second and started to think about something I had packed away a couple months ago that needed to be let go. No, I’m not referring to my multiple skirts and jeans…although that was a legitimate concern too. To give some context, the trip I was preparing for was a global trip to Africa, in a region that is predominantly Muslim. Much of my focus was on the dangers involved with a trip like this. And accordingly, the item I had safely stowed away was my fear. I had packed plenty of fear to last for the entirety of the trip. Fear for my team’s safety. Fear for our physical health. Fear of what kind of uncooked food I’d be served. Fear of offending people. Fear of not understanding people. Fear of people not understanding me. And the list goes on…
My trust in God’s will, God’s provision, and God’s control got weeded out in my first round of packing. But as I thought through the essentials, I realized that trust was the very first thing needing to be packed! And who knows? The extra room in the duffel could be used for those unexpected blessings from God, which would not have fit if I had stubbornly and fearfully packed my own full bag.
If you can relate to this concept of fear, whether or not it involves a global trip, know that God is bigger than any danger you can possibly face. The reality of God being in control is more important to remember than the reality of the fears you face. Unpack the fear that is stopping you from fully trusting in God. I think it will allow you to go on more adventures. Maybe to Africa, and maybe other adventures in your everyday life!