Life is not for wimps.
Can I say it any plainer? I think not.
Yet, somehow I am repeatedly surprised when I wake up to face yet another fear – or challenge – or trouble that I hadn’t expected.
I want to believe I’ve graduated from troubles. Moved on. I’ve grown up into ‘I can do this’ land; a fearless land For Adults Only. But, it’s just not true. I still have much to face.
‘Courage, dear heart.‘
C.S. Lewis spoke these words, and I find, I too, must speak courage to my heart.
I sometimes talk to myself, most often when I am gearing up for something I don’t want to do.
If you were a bug on my wall, you’d hear something like this, “OK, Sandra. You can do it. Just get the scrub brush and get going!” I’ll give you the full translation: ‘Clean the toilet – Now!’
My adult daughters should be happy to know it’s not just them I give advice to. No, I tell myself what to do all the time. Small pep talks to rally my troops, get myself off the couch and into the task at hand.
You and I need to face many hard things in our lives – things like fears, anxious thoughts that we can’t seem to clear our minds of, repeated struggles (over indulging in eating, shopping, you know the list…), and we have a real enemy out to get us, to take us down.
“Act with courage….Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”
II Chronicles 19:11b, 20:17
Go out to face them tomorrow.
Do you have something that you need to face tomorrow? What problem marinates in your mind throughout your day? What fear keeps presenting itself to you in the middle of the night?
Act with courage.
These words struck a chord with me when I read them. A reverberating ‘Yes!’. Notice it does not refer to feelings. The situation facing this army was frightening – they were facing what was described as “a vast army” coming against them and the Israelites were scared to death.
Facing this vast army, Jehoshaphat, the king, did the only thing he could think to do. He proclaimed a fast for all the land and sought God’s help. This is Jehoshaphat’s cry for help:
“Our God…we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
II Chron. 20:12
You and I face vast armies, too – troubles that appear insurmountable – hardships that we can’t see a way out of. You and I can feel scared – we can feel weak – we can feel defeated. But, sometimes in that place, we, too, must ACT with courage.
I will admit I face some troubles – ones bigger than dirty toilets.
I have an ongoing struggle with a chronic health problem. Sometimes I just want to ignore it, leave it be, and just go back to bed. But, when I do that, it wins. It leads my days. It determines and limits my activities. It says ‘You can’t do that, Sandra. Remember, your health issues?’.
So, I must face it head on. I must step out in faith. I must not be led by fear, rather I must do as Jehoshaphat did and ‘inquire of the Lord‘. Seek His strength – seek His wisdom – seek His courage (as God’s children, we get to borrow God’s tools – His very character and power are ours for the asking!).
And, often, I hear God’s small voice calling me out of my wilderness of troubles into His promised land of hope and opportunity.
He asks me to step out in faith and He meets me there and gives me the strength to overcome, to do the thing I thought I couldn’t do because of my health.
My weakness becomes His strength. His power is displayed in my weakness. A beautiful thing. A God thing.
“Act with courage….Go to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”
II Chron. 19:11, 20:17
What battle are you facing today?
Do you feel like you are facing it alone – with your own limited resources – limited strength? How would it change you to know “The Lord will be with you”?
You see, He will.
Set aside your feelings. Set aside your fears. Set aside the long list of ‘why you can’t win this battle’. Set it aside and pray.
Commit this battle to the Lord. Commit this moment to the Lord’s care.
Act with courage. The Lord will be with you.