“Courage, dear heart.” – CS Lewis
The word alone sends shivers through some and inspires others. It comes with such expectations, assumptions and connotations. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: “the ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief. Bravery, courageousness, pluck, pluckiness, valor, fearlessness, nerve, daring, audacity, boldness, grit, true grit, heroism, gallantry.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about courage over the past few months. Sometimes it’s the very thing that will make or break a situation. Sometimes it’s the difference between living a mediocre life and staying comfortable, or stepping off the ledge and taking a free fall and not knowing if someone’s going to catch you. Sometimes it’s the only thing we can reach for, because the alternative means shutting down and cowering in the corner.
Being courageous doesn’t mean doing stupid things that endanger yourself or others. The courage I’m talking about is the way you conquer each day with its challenges and difficulties through faith that tomorrow will be better. That by taking steps of faith, even if they are baby steps, you are walking in the strength that God provides you with. The path may be completely dark, and you may question or find yourself wanting to turn back, wanting to return to what feels safe and easy. But oh, the reward that is waiting for those who persevere in the midst of the hardest of circumstances! Oh, the victory that is coming for those who choose to be brave!
People will shake their heads at you. Question your motives. Doubt your journey. Opposition will come at you from every side, and some days you’ll rather stay in bed with your head covered. But you will find your hope in faith. Faith is Courage’s unrelenting, expectation-filled twin. And it takes faith to have courage to do things you once thought impossible. To believe in something that the world laughs at. To stand for something when you feel very alone. To have patience in the waiting as you anticipate a desired outcome.
Every change, blessing or achievement in life requires courage, faith, patience and perseverance. When God puts a desire or a vision in our heart, He also surrounds us with the people who can support and believe in it as well. He alone fills us with the courage we need to face tomorrow. To press on in this unique journey He’s called each person to, in different ways. Don’t give up!
“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strength you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10