Courageous: 1. Brave. 2. Adventurous, Bold, Fearless, Daring. 3. Not deterred by danger.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
God will be with me. Wherever I go. Whether I turn to the right or to the left, my ears will hear a voice saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
I don’t think of myself as a particularly strong or an especially courageous person. I wouldn’t consider myself to be brave. I don’t describe myself as adventurous. I don’t like dangerous situations. I’m not very bold or daring. And I’m certainly not fearless. You’ll never catch me parachuting from a plane, bungee jumping, jet boating or white water rafting. I’ll never dive or swim with sharks and you won’t catch me heli-skiing either. Even indoor rock climbing stretches the limits of my courage. I’m definitely a “feet on the ground” unadventurous (boring) kind of girl. (And I’m okay with that!)
But one thing I’ve learned in life is that being ‘courageous’ means so much more than having daring and adventurous extreme experiences.
Staying married for 21 years takes courage.
Starting a church took courage.
Undertaking a Nursing Degree as a mature-aged student was a courageous choice.
Having four kids is courageous.
Writing a blog and sharing my heart and life as transparently and honestly as I can requires courage.
Hearing from God and then being obedient (even when it meant we appeared to lose everything) was a courageous decision.
Deciding to start a Masters degree in Clinical Nursing is beyond courageous – it’s pure, ridiculous madness (what was I thinking when I said “yes” to that?!) but that’s another story – one that I’m sure I’ll be blogging more about this year.
The truth is, I actually am already strong and courageous because wherever I go God is there with me. It’s His presence that gives me the ability to be strong and courageous.
Even though I found myself in many situations in the past where I wondered if God was paying attention to me, He was with me all along. I felt alone, neglected, rejected and even depressed but He was with me all along. There were long seasons where I didn’t feel His presence but He was with me all along. I turned both to the left and then to the right but I couldn’t hear His voice telling me I was going the wrong way. But He was still there. He was with me all along.
Knowing this isn’t enough. It has to become more than head knowledge. This promise should give me enough courage and strength to be the woman He has called me to be. Yet, so many times, when it comes to being courageous, I run in the opposite direction and hide and hope He doesn’t find me and ask me to do something that requires being bold or brave or daring or fearless! But I mustn’t run or hide because He has commanded me to be strong and courageous. It’s an order. One I’m not very good at obeying.
The popular “Footprints” poem describes a dream in which a person is walking on a beach with God. They leave two sets of footprints in the sand behind them. Looking back, the tracks represent various stages of this person’s life. At some points the two trails dwindle to one, especially at the lowest and most hopeless moments of the person’s life. When questioning God, believing that God must have abandoned His follower during those times, God gives the explanation: “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Even if I stray off His perfect path for my life (which I’m sure I’ve done on numerous occasions in the past), even when I can only see one set of footprints, He really is still with me. And He will be with me wherever I go.