I was in a very crowded place (it looked like a college campus) and I seemed to know a lot of people and was having a reunion of sorts when a very tall man who I apparently knew of, but didn’t really know asked me to come to his office. I agreed and we walked up a few stairs which took us inside a very large and medieval looking building. We then walked up three more sets of stairs. I guess this might be a good time to mention that I do not like stairs, and especially not heights. I followed him and seemed to have complete trust in him. After the third set of stairs he suddenly disappeared and so did the stairs. All I could see after that were the railings but no stairs. Although I could no longer see him, I could hear him and he persistently urged me to follow him the rest of the way, which in my estimation was another four or five feet straight up. I questioned him how I was supposed to get there and he didn’t answer me, just kept insisting I come up to where he was. I started to panic, I didn’t want to refuse him yet I knew I wasn’t going to suddenly sprout wings either. I kept telling him I couldn’t get there and he became angry and started calling me names and insulting me. Thankfully that’s when I woke up! This is what I dreamed last night and it is still nagging me this morning and it is what prompted me to write about courage.
Am I living a life of courage? I admit at times I’m like Peter when he was walking on the water, when the wind came up he became scared and started to sink. It isn’t always easy to be courageous when troubles and difficulties are pressing down, yet for me that is when I really need to press forward. Over and over Christ encourages his disciples (and us) to be of good cheer, don’t be afraid, “it is I”.
If only I would always remember these words from Rom 8:35-39 Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (from THE MESSAGE)
I am ever thankful that I can always go to my bible and read great stories of courage, promises and hope.
Examples of Courage–
Abraham leaving his country- Gen 12:1
In offering Isaac- Gen 22:1-12
Gideon, in destroying the altar of Baal- Judges 6:25-29
Ezra, in undertaking the dangerous journey from Babylon to Palestine without a guard Ezra 8:22-23
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 3:16-18
Daniel, persisting in prayer regardless of the decree against praying Daniel 6:10
Peter and John, in refusing to obey men, rather than God Acts 4:19-20
When I read those accounts of courage my own “storms” suddenly seem so very small.
Give us grace, O God, to do the deed which we will know cries to be done. Let us not hesitate because of ease, or the words of men’s mouths, or our own lives. Mighty causes are calling us. . . . But they call with voices that mean work and sacrifice and death. Mercifully grant us, O God, the spirit of Esther, that we say, “I will go unto the King and if I perish, I perish.” Amen. (from 1001 Quotes, Illustrations)