|Posted on February 4, 2019 at 8:25 AM|
Do you have the courage to go on?
One of my favorite movies is “The Wizard of Oz.” Every time I watch it I laugh at the cowardly lion who is fearful of everything, even his own tail! He desires courage, as many of us do.
I don’t have to face dangerous things too often, thank goodness. But sometimes we humans are faced with problems that seem insurmountable, and it’s hard to find the courage to persevere. Some of these issues are minor in the grand scheme of things, like when I face writer’s block while working on my next project. Other problems, though, can be quite serious. It might be the struggle to conceive a child, facing the fight with an addiction, or having to live with an incurable physical illness. When faced with such a situation, it may take all that one has to find the courage to not give up.
Like many of you, I have dealt with serious challenges in my life which required courage to go on. Going through my divorce years ago was a tough one. Some days all I could do was just numbly get up, drop the boys at daycare and go to work. And not too long ago, I sat beside my husband for several months as he struggled with depression, watching and waiting, uncertain what the future would bring. And I know many people struggle daily with losses and illnesses and the emotional strain is so great.
It saddens me when someone is unable to get the help they need and they sink into numbness or succumb to the problem. Yet it gladdens me when I know those who dig deep instead for the courage to hang on, somehow finding humor in their situation or at least making every effort to continue forward.
Courage is needed to get through the tough times, but sometimes courage is hard to come by. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do for people who are wrestling to find courage. I do pray for them, and I try to reach out to those stuck at home or in the hospital. But it can be so hard to know what to say to encourage them. Will a visit from me give them courage to persevere, or just remind them that I am able to get around while they cannot?
Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying “Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.” I think that may be the key. Even if we don’t feel like it, we go on. Courage to go on can come in the form of a hand that continues to hold yours as long as it takes to get through the situation. Courage to go on can come from prayer – your own and the prayers of others who intercede with God for help.
And courage comes from within, even when we don’t know it. Courage requires us to rearrange our disorganized thinking. It requires us to examine our core and our heart and not look for something from the outside to change us. The cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz found that out… when he wanted to help his friends, that’s when he found the courage to stand up to the witch.
Several years ago I wrote a poem for a friend who is dealing with MS – a disease which has robbed her body of most ability to function. Yet she goes on with courage each day. If you or a loved one is struggling with something right now, and perhaps you could use some courage, maybe this poem will bless you.
The Grace of Courage
I've marveled so for many years;
I've never seen such faith!
A gentle soul, a quiet heart
Who's filled with God's sweet grace.
You've suffered so throughout the years,
You've come to know such pain,
A constant battle you must face
Through so many days of rain.
It must be often hard to pray,
You wonder, why, God, why?
Why let me suffer day by day?
I cannot help but cry.
But somehow, deep within your soul,
You noticed through your tears
That Someone sweet was standing by
To calm each of your fears.
You cling to Him with fragile hope,
You cry inside His arms,
He wraps you close beside His breast
And shelters you from harms.
Though from your pain you're not released,
Still struggling day to day,
A smile can touch your lips and soul
Because you've found His Way.
For He has given you a grace
Of courage, steady and true,
To patiently bear whatever He gives
Until He says it's through.
Yes, you, my friend, are very blessed
Though you may question how;
God graciously has granted you
The grace of courage for now.
One final note: Proverbs 28:1 says “Have a STRONG and COURAGEOUS day!”
Have a blessed Monday!
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