Tag Archive | Courage

What are you afraid of?…

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As I was reading my Bible this morning, I read the words spoken by Jesus to His disciples in John chapter 16, verse 11: “God has already judged the ruler of this world”.

I realised with greater clarity than I’ve had before, that in populating the world, our Lord created a democracy. He created a democracy because He is a benevolent Father, who wants us to go out into the world as loved children, and return to Him because we love Him rather than because we have no choice.

Sadly, no democracy would be a democracy without other, less reputable alternatives seizing the opportunity to stand for election, and the world has chosen a more subtle, more deceptive king. One whose lies and self interest can only harm us.

But nonetheless, He was voted in, and for the moment we’re stuck with him.

He continues to be voted in by the masses, and He likes to blame the world’s problems on the previous government (familiar?). Fortunately, his rule will be temporary.

But while we live in this world, we will shutterstock_566788609all suffer in one way or another at his hands.

I have always seen myself as some kind of reluctant rebel against the Father, longing to obey, but regularly mucking things up. Now I realise that the real rebels are those of us who are living under the dominion of the earthly king, but who are fighting in our rebel army to restore our rightful King, Jesus Christ.

And that is a daily rebellion that takes bravery. Possibly more than many of us believe we could ever have.

When I look at myself and ask myself whether I am brave, I have to say the answer would be a resounding ‘NO!’.

I am pathetically wobbly when presented with such harmless individuals as slugs and snails; I avoid heights, hate deep water, go weak at the impending possibility of pain, and fly from difficult conversations or necessary confrontations at every opportunity.

But somehow, as I grow older, I’m finding that I am developing something I would call courage. It helps me to do the right thing in the heat of the moment, and it is based entirely on trust in God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I find that in moments of anxiety or fear, I need only ask for the courage to trust Him.

corrie-ten-boomCorrie Ten Boom, author of ‘The Hiding Place’, who, along with other family members, helped many Jews escape from the Nazi Holocaust during world war II, famously related a conversation that took place between her and her father when she was a little girl. “Daddy,” she had said one day, “I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”
“Tell me,” said her father, “when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
“That’s right,” he replied, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr. But as soon as you are called upon for the honour of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.”
It’s strange – for me, the word ‘brave’ might be associated with the young and foolhardy. I might associate it with diving off cliffs into the crashing waves below or attempting to fly with the aid of nothing more than bamboo and canvas. Bear Grylls is brave; Andrew White is brave. Or I might associate it with my mother exhorting me to “be brave” just before an injection when I was a child – I learnt to focus very hard on something else in the room as the needle went in.

If you have given your life to Christ, then you have joined the ranks of rebel warriors who are seeking to restore the world to its rightful King. You may be like me, with your own areas of wobbliness and timidity, but I would strongly encourage you that keeping your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you and flow through you, will ensure that you are every bit as brave as you ever need to be.

Me, brave? Never.

Learning to trust? Absolutely.

Life begins 2

To Brave Women Who Went Before Me…

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I have grown up in an environment that has allowed me to believe in, and hope for the best from my life.

I was educated to a standard that taught me to make the best of my opportunities and that dreams and ambitions are as acceptable in a woman as they are in a man. I was taught that if I didn’t want to have children, then that is ok, and I was taught that both men and women are equally responsible for raising, loving and celebrating our children. I was taught that I have a voice, and that it’s ok for it to be heard.

Most of the women who taught me these things, were not living in a society that allowed them to enjoy those freedoms themselves… they just dreamed for me.

So I would like to thank my mother, my old headmistress, and a number of teachers along the way, who, those who are still alive, now get the chance to watch me, and other women like me enjoy freedoms that, for their own lives, they wouldn’t have dared to wish for…

I’m so sorry you missed out, in your own lives, on the liberation you gave me… I salute your courage, your determination and, probably, the loneliness your courage imposed on you.

THANK YOU