I’ve been praying a lot for courage. Courage to start this blog. Courage to share my writing with others. Courage to step out of my comfort zone and follow where God is leading me.
Then it occurred to me that maybe I’m praying for the wrong thing. If we have faith, then we have courage to face our fears because we know God will be with us no matter what happens. Faith is what gave Daniel courage to face the lions. Faith gave Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego courage to face the fiery furnace. Faith is what prompted Peter to step out of the boat to walk on the water in the middle of a storm. So, shouldn’t faith be enough to give me courage to face such smaller fears as come into my life?
As I watched the Judy Garland tribute on the Oscars a few weeks ago, I was reminded of the Cowardly Lion asking the great Oz for courage. In the end, the Lion didn’t need to go to Oz to get courage. He had it in himself already, he just needed to have faith and face his fears.
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” ― L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
Courage is facing my fears even though I am afraid. Courage is taking a step of faith into unknown territory. Courage is trusting that God will equip me at the moment I need equipping. Courage is knowing that even if I fail, God will be there to catch me when I fall. Courage is knowing that God is with me every step of the way.
The funny thing is… for as nervous and afraid as I was in the days and minutes leading up to launching this blog, as soon as it was live I felt at peace. I felt calm instead of anxious. I felt more excited than terrified. I felt energized and ready to keep going. Certainly not what I expected! I expected to be a nervous wreck about sharing words from my heart. But, faith is taking over where there once was fear.
As I took that step to click “Publish”, God did give me courage. And He reminded me that He is with me always. Sometimes we’ll fail, other times we’ll succeed, but the important thing is to keep taking steps forward. I have posted this verse below from Joshua on my desk as a reminder to keep facing my fears and keep taking steps forward.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Instead of praying for courage, I think I’ll pray for the confidence keep taking steps forward in obedience to God’s call on my life. Pray that God will equip me in the areas where I don’t feel as strong. Pray that I’ll feel God’s comforting presence as I take a step into the unknown. Pray that I’ll stay strong even when I try and fail; and pray that I’ll be encouraged to get back up and try again.
Where do you need courage in your life today? Is there a fear you’re afraid to face?
Have faith and know that God will be there with you for every step of the way!
I found this link to an old-school song of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When I was a kid, there was a Bible story hotline you could call and select stories to hear. My friend Sara and I used to call and this was one of our favorite stories. They played this song and the chorus has stuck with me all these years.