Often quoted, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." True or not, its an interesting concept, and while its nice to think of an easy life void of fear, it certainly is not a reality for me.
When I look back at my life, I see how fear has driven me away from God and into a net of false security that lies in my controlling everything and not taking chances. In light of that, my prayer for the past months has not been that I wouldn't be afraid, but that I would be brave in the face of fear.
Fear won't ever go away because new situations arise, unpredictable things will occur, and the unknown is frightening. However, one's response to said fear is what matters.
For example, I know that moving to a Muslim country is not the safest move and not the move that will "make" my career as a nurse. Its a scary move that might even lead to death. I tell people where I want to go, and they think I'm crazy. I know I'm not crazy, and I'm not stupid. I know the risks, and I know there is reason to fear. I mean, really, who wants to be lashed for not following Allah (or for consuming alcohol, or for showing your ankles...)? And I'm sure that at one point or another I will be afraid, even very afraid.
However, through God's grace, I can make it. I can live out the truth that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I can look fear straight on and not be overcome. In Him, I can be brave. For Him, I will be brave, and the peace of God which trancends all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
There is a woman in the book of 2 Kings, simply called a wise woman of the town of Abel. David's army seiges the town trying to find one man, and this woman stands up to the general of the army for the sake of the people in that town, giving them the one they want and saving the lives of many.
Twice she is called wise and is said to speak with wisdom. She speaks to a man of great rank, putting her own life on the line. It would be like me walking up to General Swartzkopff and telling him I'll get him Bin Laden if he'll just stop the fightening in Afghanstan. I mean, who does that, right? Yet this woman did...and I can't forget her. She has no name, but a legacy as a wise, brave woman who interceded for the innocent.
My prayer is that I will be that brave, that wise, and that willing to stand in the gap for justice. I hope, by grace, I will have that chance, and that I will crush fear under my feet...for the sake of the gospel...for the sake of God's reputation...and for the sake of people's lives.