courage

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary online, when you look up courage you find: 

courage |ˈkərij; ˈkə-rij| noun, the ability to do something that frightens one : she called on all her courage to face the ordeal.

I was courageous this week. I found my voice which had been missing for a very long time. I used to mistakenly believe that courageous people did things others couldn’t do. But, when I realized courageous people do it while they’re scared it hit me; sometimes I have courage.

The trick lies in not being paralyzed by our fear. I confess fear has paralyzed me. I kept waiting till my fear was gone so I could proceed. I’ve come to realize if I wait for that, I’ll never move; I’ll be forever stuck.

The abundant life Jesus offers us and being paralyzed are on opposite spectrums. Remember the paralytic who laid by the edge of the pool and never got to experience the healing waters? When Jesus passed by he asked him if he wanted to be well. The man proceeded to explain why he was still in the state he was, paralyzed. His list did not take any responsibility. Instead, he pointed his finger at his circumstances, the insensitivity of others, anything but himself.

We all have problems; some of them obvious, others better hidden. Paul wore his weaknesses on the outside. He even saw the value in his weaknesses, for Paul said when he was weak, then he was strong. When he acknowledged his weaknesses he was also acknowledging God as the Almighty one.

I have a lot of problems. God is teaching me how to lean on Him. I’m getting there faster, but I still don’t have it completely mastered, and maybe I won’t on this side of glory. But, I do see progress. Things that used to get me entangled don’t. But, I still get struggle at times.

I am thanking God for my trials more than I ever have before. Nothing happens to me without his permission. God’s purpose for me is greater than my desire for things to go smoothly. He is in the process of making me like Jesus. And that process is sometimes painful. There’s a lot of pride he is sanding away. There’s a lot of pride he is purging. The heat is excruciating at times as it burns away impurities. But, when God is done and he opens the door of my furnace, I’m going to look like Jesus, and it will be worth it.

Courage. Doing it scared. 

If fear is preventing you from going forward, do it anyway. Do it in spite of your fears. As followers of Christ, we never go through a door alone. Isn’t that great to know?

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