The unknown country is probably the scariest thing we face. Waiting for the test results from your doctor. Waiting for the exam results. Waiting for approval of your dissertation. Waiting for the results of an oral exam. Waiting for the results of a trial.
Sometimes the fear is so great you can all but cut it with a knife. So what makes it possible to "go to the unknown country," taking each step in order, and minimize your fears?
- Take action. This is perhaps the greatest thing. Abram didn't wait (I doubt waiting was even in his nature--see Genesis 22, where it says "He arose early..."), didn't procrastinate. He got things ready, and moved on. Sometimes you cannot take action. You have to wait, because waiting is what's called for, but you can still move. Paralysis (as I've found) doesn't contribute to your life, especially if it's linked to some problem you're facing. So instead of waiting, sitting in your room and worrying, do something. Anything. Action often drains us of fear, and makes us able to cope with what is happening, even if it has no relation to the issues at hand. Sometimes you need to go camping. Or to take a hike. Or go ride your bike. Or have a nice dinner. Anything that moves you away from focusing only on the one thing you fear.
- Focus on the future. This is also of great importance. In Hebrews 11:10, we read the following: 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. There was no "city of God" in the Canaan of Abram's day--it was in the far future--but that's where Abram's focus was. In the future. Many times the present is pretty bad. We fail the exam. We're permanently injured at work. The doctor's tests on our child give us no hope. And so on. The key thing to remember is that the future that's yours is in the "city of God (the real one)," not tomorrow or the next day. It's where God makes things right, and "wipes away every tear," and we live with Him forever.