Cultivating courage:Letter to the brave

Letter to the brave 
Hello, my brave friend,
Yes you, with head low and furrowed brow, eyes averted, looking to disappear and hide in the corner. Attention is usually unwelcome in your life. Too much of the wrong kind has sensitised you to being singled out.
How can I call you brave? Isn’t that reserved for real life heroes and heroines:the fire fighters, fight stoppers, adrenaline-fuelled, rescue mission, have-a-go type who scorns peril and leaps in regardless to save lives and save the day?
Or maybe those who avoid attention but find it seeks them out anyway when God and others notice how they face up to adversity, hardship, pain, struggle and shame with gritted teeth, steely-eyed endurance and patient perseverance.
It is true that courage is found in many places:
In a garden called Gethsemane where Jesus sweat blood for you and me. On a cross becoming sin our Lord hung dying so we could live free.
In a hospital bed, laying gasping for breath. On a cancer ward facing fear and death.
On a blood-stained street facing an angry, knife-laden horde.
With the chronically sick, disabled and poor fighting stigma and shame as politicians fleece them once more.
Through the daily grind, weary rise of body, feeling wretched inside with all we try to hide that corrupts our mind.
Hunched low over laptop or PC, with fingers hesitating to press the ‘publish’ key, fearing ridicule, being ignored, or how we may be received and perceived.
And courage wears many faces:
A thorn-pierced brow, bleeding limbs and spittle-stained face as our Saviour offers a gift of grace.
Wives and mothers with sons and lovers sent out to fight, brave for the battle, tears in the night.
Those who mourn, grief-stricken, bereaved.
Those who are prisoners of their past seeking release at last, longing to be free.
Wearing masks of indifference, masks of scorn, while on the inside, hidden so deep, we’re  lonely, lost and forlorn.
Single parents despairing over whether they are able to somehow keep house and home together, never mind put food on the table.
Finally, courage will embrace us.
Arms of love reaching out in nail-pierced agony, then a brief desolation cry as Jesus dies; His resurrection setting us free to be the people we’re intended to be.
My friend, you and I don’t have to feel brave at all. God sees our daily battles, tears on pillow, body slumped over in sorrow, pervading pain and distress, and He has the ability to cover everything we may encounter.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust” ~ Psalm 91:1-2
God holds us all in His tender embrace, not expecting us to be brave (or pretend to save face) for He has provided the solution in love by His grace, and all the courage we need to get through our days.
Bring Him your surrendered life and He will erase (over time) the ache in your heart, the pain you endure, those awful days when life feels far from secure and you don’t know how to go on.
.
For God wants us to take hold of His courage today and wear it instead of letting our fears hold sway.
So come out of your corner, my friend, lift up your head, take hold of God’s hand, and together with Him we will stand strong in this battle. For we are not relying on human power, but walking by faith in His unlimited resources hour by hour.
Courage is faith that has said a prayer and goes out boldly relying on God’s grace.
Believe you can make it through this one day..and the next…and so on…until fears subside.
For many have trod this path we are on and found God’s strength the only reliable thing to lean upon as they cultivate courage in the face of life’s storms.
Dear Father,
We are so thankful that we do not have to rely on our own limited abilities, strength or resources.
As we look to you and receive from your unlimited, overflowing supply, we are able to face and handle situations that seem impossible to cope with alone.
For it is not your intention for us to journey through life without relying on your guidance, help, strength and equipping for everything.
And as we lean on you, you infuse us with grace  and peace to face life with hope and purpose.
To stand strong in your strength when we feel weak.
To have your courage to live without fear and anxiety making us paralysed and hesitant to do the right thing.
To face another day and to make it through tough times.
May we continue to seek your help as we go through our days,staying aware and thankful for the many ways in which you care for and protect us.
Amen
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” ~ Philippians 4:13
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Linking here with Sabrina Fowles at Just keep singing as part of the ‘Letter to’ series. This week’s prompt is: ‘Letter to the brave’ and with Anita Hunt at Scattering the Stones Ministry for Thankful Thursday You are very welcome to join in.
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6 Comments

  1. Oh Joy, I have tears of God's grace running down my cheeks for your beautiful, uplifting, truth-filled words, spoke comfort into my heart. I loved where you said – "For we are not relying on human power, but walking by faith in His unlimited resources hour by hour." Amen! Everything by His love, His strength, His grace. I am so truly thankful for our loving Heavenly Father.

    Thank you for your lovely post.
    Blessings

    1. Anita, I am so pleased God has used these words to bless and encourage you. It's a message I constantly need to remind myself of as it's all too easy to slip into a self-sufficiency mind-set that forgets how much we need God's help, although chronic illness and pain are sharp reminders of that fact. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

    1. Oh, I love how you describe it, Karin, with "this spectrum of brave" shining "a rainbow of promise that speaks not of our own merits of courage but His". That's exactly how I saw courage. Thanks very much for sharing your insights here.

    1. It's a pleasure, Sabrina! Thanks very much for giving me an opportunity to link up with you. Courage does indeed wear many faces and I've enjoyed reading other people's take on the topic.

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