Courage: the mental or moral strength
to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
Websterâ€™s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
Yesterday, I witnessed true courage in the form of a petite, white-blond, little girl standing at the top of a four-foot mat during gymnastics practice.Â She was not alone in her fear of leaping from that mat, but for Gracie the fear is not of unlearned skills, but of vision, for she was born without depth perception. Gracie canâ€™t determine where the bar is, how far to leap or how high. So when she jumps, it is in absolute faith that the bar will be exactly where her coach tells her it is.Â
Sometimes as she struggles to overcome her fear, tears slip down her cheeks. But Gracie doesnâ€™t give up. She stands on that mat, resolutely willing herself to jump. Gracie doesnâ€™t want to give up. She wants to leap, and when she does and her hands land securely on that bar, her smile is absolutely radiant.
Itâ€™s the same for us. Fear can either immobilize us, gluing us to the mat, or it can motivate us to trust more fully, more deeply, more honestly in the One who loves us beyond imagining. We canâ€™t avoid fear. It is part of life in this fallen world. But fear is also sin, which means we have to choose: fear or God. We canâ€™t have both. We either trust or we donâ€™t. God is either all powerful, all Love, or He is a fraud. We either listen to the cacophony of voices in this world or we listen for His still small Voice. We either choose anxiety, edginess, tension, stress, headaches, upset stomach, worry over things that may never happen and separation from Godâ€”ouchâ€”or choose to believe the Word:Â
â€śThere is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.â€ť 1 John 4:18Â
- be strong and courageous Deuteronomy 31:6
- be strong and do not fear Joshua 1:6, 9
- do not fear, for I am with youÂ Isaiah 41:10
- do not worry about tomorrowÂ Matthew 6:34
- do not worry about your life, what you will eatÂ Matthew 6:25
- Why do you worry about clothes? Matthew 6:28
- Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?Â Matthew 6:27
Fear accomplishes nothing good; only bad, including separation from God. The truth is that when we fear, we fail to trust. But there is an antidote: love.
Godâ€™s Loveâ€”holy, perfect, unearned, undeserved and never-failingâ€”is our sure, sweet victory over fear. What hope! That in all things, through every step and circumstance, in allsituations, Godâ€™s love completely conquers fear. What promise! What love!Â
So today may we lean a little harder, trust a little more, a little deeper in the One who loves us with abandon, choosing His Voice, His Word, His Love that we might stand courageous and unafraid simply because we are His.