What Does Courage Look Like?

     The trees on my morning walk are changing. The last of the bright red leaves are bravely clinging to their branches, while the ground is covered in every autumn hue. With each gust of wind they rain down, a fresh blanket for my feet to crush in the passing.

     As the days grow shorter and the sun starts to shine not as warm, we are faced with the eminent passing of yet another season. While I anticipate the beauty of the next one, my heart’s not quite ready to bid fall good-bye. My flesh wants to hang on to every drop of today not sure of what tomorrow could bring, and I breath a prayer, “Make me strong, Lord, make me strong in you.”

       Courage seems to be so much more than standing firm. It’s advancing into the unknown in spite of fears that try to shake you. This word ” courage” is synonymous in my mind with the story of Joshua and Caleb. When the Israelites were ready to take hold of the land that God had promised them they sent spies into the land ahead of time so that they would know what they were up against. While most of the spies came back shaking in their boots because of how strong their enemy appeared before them, Joshua and Caleb had a different response. Even though there were giants in the land, ( it says they felt like grasshoppers in comparison) Caleb said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” How was it possible for him to have such confidence in the face of such overwhelming opposition? Not only were the voices around him speaking doom and gloom but his own eyes testified of the great mountain of difficulty that lay before them. Truly the odds were more than stacked against them  and yet...

     Sometimes courage looks like when we are afraid we put our trust in God anyway;
When I am afraid, I will trust in you, in God whose word I praise.” Psalm 56:3,4 
     It is possible beloved to move forward with the words of our mouths praising Him for all that He is and all that He has done for us in the past. Then we can pave the way for our future with more words of praise; of trust in His ability to remove, redeem, restore, rescue and work all things for our good. Sometimes courage looks like waiting.
Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 

     Often times life can be difficult and we desperately want to skip over the pain of present circumstances. However, there are gifts to be had in the waiting beloved. When we are required to sit and wait in the hallways of life, he is with us in the waiting and he is producing good things while we wait.
       We are just like a little seed that is buried in the dark earth. Little do we know, that while we wait for the glorious green shoot to appear on the other side of the darkness in the bright light of the sun, there is life unfurling from within. Long before that shoot can be seen, bursting from its grave, a small tendril of life has already broken through its hard outer shell and is working its way up through the dirt. What might God be producing in you in the wait?
   Sometimes courage looks like moving forward.
“Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will go with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

     While sometimes we are required to wait, other times the Lord calls us forward and like Abraham we may not know much beyond the next step to lay our foot. But rest assured dear ones, that when he calls us out he does not require us to go it alone, and though you may leave all that you know you take with you the one who knows all. 
     His promises are true and He is Truth! When the way he has called you seems dark or lonely press into Him and let him be your light.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear.” Psalm 27:1

      The bottom line is that when we put our trust in Christ we do not walk alone.
“He will never leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31
“For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    Yes, the way may seem long and at times not smooth but because His word is true, we walk in His strength and power. We are then able to rejoice in our weaknesses, knowing that in them His power is made perfect in us.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”( Eph. 6)
     The more we walk this broken path the more we see that it’s all about a shift in our perspective. A different position to view this traveler’s road from. Where are our eyes focused? Are they on me, or are they on my God? 
Haven’t I commanded you: Be Strong and Courageous?” 
Joshua 1:9

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