Courage That’s Better

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I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

– John 14:27, NLT –

Part of me pulls toward the leaning sycamore tree, leaves filtering sun down on cropped grass outside the conference center.

Wind tickles my skirt around my ankles.

But my thoughts are too tumbled.

How part of me cringes because I don’t measure up.

And another piece of me wants You so much, so close, that it stills my depths.

And I’m a little empty. I feel inadequate.

I sense the problem and even the solution. Fear not. Is it You, dear Comforter, who I so much forget, Who whispers to me this way?

Fear.

Fear of man.

Fear of losing friends.

Fear of the future.

So many fears.

Whispers darting around my ears, bringing on winds of shaking. And I move away, nestle in a corner with people buzzing and speakers’ microphones piercing through chatter.

Stone wall against my back, stone-cold, chilling straight through to the back of my heart.

Like fear creeping in the back door.

And the speaker is Don Hart, talking about the morale of a soldier.

That we’ll never win if we walk defeated.

‘Cause we’re not.

Are not defeated.

Why am I fearing?

When my eyes come away from Your face.

My whole arm’s now chilled from the stone.

But I’m Yours.

Why–why on this earth of Yours–do I let fear infect my joy, my goals?

And a smile, heart-deep, springs up because joy is welling up and the what appeared to be the burden of others-centeredness is shifting into the glory of it. Can You use me here?

Can You make me smile in the corners and brave out front, and humble in the masses and deep-in heedless of others’ thoughts?

I want these deep-in, Psalm 1 roots.

And this Psalm 27 fearlessness.

And these words that Don-Hart spoke,  a Marine’s saying:

“Not dead. Can’t quit.”

And Psalm 27:4-5: His beauty drives out the fear. Abiding in His place of safety gives all the confidence I could long for. Beholding Him, looking into Love’s eyes.

My blinking, my knowing.

Parts of me that cringe at my inability.

But still the speaker pierces through, “Do you believe God?”

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord….”

– Psalm 27: 13 –

He says wait on Him.

He says be of good courage

(I wonder, how much stronger good courage is than just plain courage?)

And He promises the strength just when I’m in need.

So, Jesus, where do You want me to go?

Thanks to Larisa Koshkina and Public Domain Pictures for the lovely photo!

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