Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 17, 2016

Fear Creates Distance

As I prepared to leave for the Amazon, I fielded several questions about this latest adventure to take the gospel to a hard place. The majority of the questions were fueled by some kind of fear. People asked me about snakes, piranha, spiders, mosquitos, and, of course, the Zika virus. It’s amazing how just the mention of the word Amazon itself can trigger trepidation.

Into the Amazon
When you think about it, fear creates distance. That’s what fear does best. Most folks generally try to keep a safe distance away from the things that frighten them. Distancing ourselves from things that frighten or can harm us is not all bad. Parents teach their kids to not play with fire and to stay away from strangers. That’s good advice!

Novo OLinda do Norte
If we are not careful, however, we can allow fear to distance us from fulfilling the purposes of God. Fear can keep us anchored in the relative safety of familiar harbors while those in need of rescue face their own fearful reality of drowning in threatening waters. Unless we are willing to weigh anchor and set a course that will take us beyond our fears, then those in danger will continue to suffer great loss.

Into the Storm
Every advance that has been made for the kingdom of God has been made by those who had the courage to press on in spite of their fears. Rather than allowing their fears to paralyze them, these intrepid souls closed the distance that separated them from people in need. And that changed everything for the people in need. When making decisions, we must consider the welfare of those who live on the other side of our fears.

River Boats
Years ago while on a rail journey in Ukraine with the late Dr. Rudy Hernandez, one of my mentors, I learned a valuable lesson about fear. I asked Dr. Rudy if he had ever been afraid on any of his travels. Of course he had. But, he added that he never allowed fear to keep him from fulfilling God’s purposes. “I am immortal,” he explained, “until God is through with me.” Because Dr. Rudy understood that his fate was in God’s hands, he was unwilling to allow fear to win the day.

Texas Boys to Amazon
One thing is certain, the most amazing adventures await those who move in the direction of their fears. Peter understood that when he left the safety of a perfectly good boat to take a walk on a stormy sea. Paul experienced that when he left the shores of Troas at the urging of a Macedonian man who had appeared to him in a dream. We too can embrace kingdom adventures to hard places if we will walk with God in the direction of our fears. Only then will we close the distance that separates us from those who live on the other side of our fears.


  1. Good to seeing all of you in pictures! this is the Amazon River? i have learned how to keep a way my fears ! i am keeping witnessing the people here. Thanks! Mortuza. Bangladesh.

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