Wednesday, April 09, 2014

April's Focus: Courage

Last month we talked about the joy of discovering nuggets of revelation from God and the responsibility of responding when He nudges us to act. Our Take Away Thought, in part, said that we need to pray for courage to respond and follow through. This month I’d like to pursue the topic of courage a little further.
Recently I combed the Writer’s Guide in search of a market for my children’s book. I used all the discernment I could summon to read between the lines and make viable choices. Even though I eliminated many, I was left with fifteen options. Where do I start? If only a few publishers were possibilities, it would be easy, but fifteen intimidated me. I was discouraged in a situation that calls for courage. I need courage to make a choice that could prove to be a poor choice, to follow a path that may dead end, to be prepared for a dozen plus rejection letters. Mostly, I need the courage to fail. That courage does not come from within me.
If I look at myself - my time, my effort, my need for affirmation, my possible rejection - I won’t find courage. But if I look to the One who knows when I sit and when I rise, who perceives my thoughts, who knows my going out and my lying down, who is familiar with all my ways (Psalm 139), I do receive courage because nothing is unseen by God and nothing is wasted with God.
In Ephesians we read that He works out everything to conform with His purpose and His will (1:11).
In Proverbs we read that our steps are directed by the Lord (20:24).
And from Romans we know that God works out all things for our good (8:28).
So let’s not hold back! Let’s go for it and trust Proverbs 16:9, that in our hearts we plan our course, but the Lord determines our steps. It may be failure that leads us to the very place God’s wants us. But if we don’t take a step, we’ll go nowhere.
Take Away Thought: If we believe the Lord determines our steps, we must cooperate and take one because, when we sincerely honor God first, there may be detours, but there are no dead ends. 

1 comment:

Barb said...

Barbara: THANK YOU! This was such a meaningful thought to me. Even as I have been writing in my blog daily for lent, it is so HARD. But each day as I start to type the words on my keyboard, Jesus shows up and empowers me. It is all Him! Maybe it is how Peter felt when he walked on the water. It is only when I think about what I am doing too much and take my eyes off Jesus that the flow stops. Even failure is good. So true!