Take Heart ~ Finding Courage Right Where You Are (Conclusion)

Here & Now
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. ~ Galatians 6:9

One day, the full story will be told.  When our faith is made sight, when the curse of sin is undone, when weeping is no more, when all things are made new… what we can’t understand here in the middle will all unfold.

Until then… I don’t know what will be asked of me in the future or even tomorrow.  I don’t know what God is asking of you.

But I know that pressing forward in faith is a way of living, an on-going journey.  I know that every step toward Him, no matter how small it looks to us, is a step in the right direction.

It’s a full circle kind of realization, but I have come to see that our day-to-day walk with God is the adventure my little-girl heart longed for…  This daily purpose we all have is a part of the most ancient, eternal, important story of all: the story of how God loves and redeems His people.

When we are following Him, it means that we will lay down our lives and put others first whether that’s in our kitchens, in our office, or on a mission field… We will risk reputation and whatever we have to show His love to someone who needs it… We will daily pick up our cross and say – “Here I am”, with open hands for what He will give or take away, with light feet that will go wherever He leads, with a heart that beats to His rhythm of grace.

Taking heart, using our courage ~  it looks different in every stage of our lives.  In one of the hardest parenting phases I have been through so far, courage looked like showing up morning after morning and making it through school drop off.  Sometimes courage is switching my microphone off mute on a Sunday morning.  Sometimes it has been introducing myself to strangers. Sometimes it has been showing up at a hospice bed, a job interview, an honest conversation.  Sometimes it’s admitting I need help.  Right now, it’s writing these words.

You have your own part, your own call to action, your own version of what courage will mean in your life, your own road to walk.

At the end of the day, when these words are far from your mind and it’s just you in your life, in your home, with your people ~ there comes a point when we have to choose whether or not we will believe.  We have to choose the brave prayers, the surrender, the promises of His presence.

People keep talking these days about this new normal or asking when things will go back to what they used to be… and I don’t know what will come next, but I think our new normal can’t be formed on the basis of what’s around us.

I think our new normal has to be based fully on the Kingdom of God within us. I am praying that God keeps building a steadfastness in my soul and in yours.  We need to have a surety in our core ~ a strength of heart ~ that keeps us firmly planted on both feet.  When life shakes around us, the Kingdom of God within us is unshakable.  We believe that God is going to do what He has promised.  We dig our heels in and know that He does not lie and that no word from Him will fail.  This hope is the anchor for our souls, sure and steadfast. As the Message puts it?

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.  It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
~ Hebrews 6:18-20

Are we going to make the right choices, every time?  Probably not.  Are we going to have days when we have to fight even harder than usual, encourage our souls more often?  Yes.  But when we falter, when we step back…we don’t give up.  We don’t despair.  We listen to the Spirit that convicts and does not condemn.  We fix our eyes on Jesus again and press forward, toward Him.

He who began this good work in me and in you?  He will finish it, just like He promised. (Philippians 1:6)  So let’s “grab the promised hope with both hands”.  It’s time.  Today.  Here and now.  Let’s take heart, just like Jesus said.  We are the sons and daughters of God, courageous and steadfast, faithful and confident in who He is… and who He has created us to be.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of
our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the
shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
~ Hebrews 12:1-2

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
Let all that you do be done with love.
~ 1 Corinthians 16:13

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Author’s Note ~ I know this isn’t a real book and I hesitated to add this ~ because SO
many people in my life inspire me with their courage… but for these particular thoughts, I
had some help.  So thank you to my Kailey-girl, whose own path of courage taught me
that sometimes the first hard step in overcoming is to just show up… & who offered her
interpretation of courage as art work for this project.  Thank you to Neil, who always
believes I can do more than I think I can.  Thank you to Hannah, whose encouragement
& attuned-to-Jesus ears are literally the reason these words are here.  And thank you to
my friends, Mary & Ryan, who have been showing me what it looks like to say yes to
Jesus, no matter the cost, since I first met them… but especially this year.
You all help me to live more bravely and I am grateful for you.
And, friend?
Thank you for reading & for being who God has called you to be.
Your light matters & I am so thankful you are here.

 

 

 

Cover Art: Kailey Lambert
Christie Lambert ©2020

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