Friday, April 20, 2012

When It’s Time for Courage


“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
~Deuteronomy 31:6 (NRSV)
Every single person experiences anxious times, and there are many who suffer for their anxiety. Inexplicable fear joins with the known fears that threaten the quality of our lives, all because of what our pasts and personalities say about the future, and thought for the anticipated consequences. Pessimism plays its part too. But enough of the past and the future; there is a more important enduring phenomenon... the present.
Courage is a tool for the present.
It comes into its own at a time when all things happen and when all things matter. It dispels almost uncaringly with all manner of fear and anxiety—if only we can hold all of the fumbling components of the moment with stilled steadiness. He helps if we can stare truth in the face.
Courage That Refuses To See The Size Of The Conquest
We’re often daunted by the size of the conquests before us. Whether they are many or varied, or just simply looming large, matters little. As Moses instructed Joshua, in taking the reins of Israel into the Promised Land, a conquest almost impossibly futile, we can be similarly encouraged. The Lord goes with us. And as Israel battled against the odds, proving incredibly effective, we can too—if we have courage.
Courage has about it the way of forging forward despite the known difficulties, fears, anxieties, and rampaging panic—for the knowledge of dread.
Courage is a decision. It casts forth, with happy abandon, refusing to compromise any of the promise of hope that is contingent upon compromise. It’s prepared to risk all for good to be done. It takes pride in only one thing; the doing of the one thing it must do. And despite opportunities to buckle it continues forth, steadily and stoically.
***
“Be strong and courageous,” booms our Lord,
“Put away all fear and state of dread,”
God in whom our safety’s assured,
Is always making sure we’re led.
The Holy Spirit makes power known,
Indwelling us with the power to obey,
In order that we might be fully sown,
In the fabric of God every day.
***
When it’s time for courage, we stand up to be counted—times when only we and God know. Courage is between us and our Lord. Both the requirement for courage and the power to obey, and therefore succeed, come via transformational transactions from God to us.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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