My friend gave me this bracelet right before she left for the mission field and I wear it every day next to a bracelet that I bought in Baoji.
At first when I would look at it, I would think of the friend who gave it to me. Her choice to sell everything she owned and go to a foreign land was one of the greatest acts of courage that I have seen in a long time.
But I got to thinking this week about a different kind of courage. It is not the courage that enables us to do big things like go on the mission field, train for a marathon, or quit a job, but it is the kind of courage that simply gets us through today.
It is courage to take care of difficult child, it is courage to get out of bed some days, it is courage to believe in a struggling marriage, courage to take control of your health, courage to ask for help when that is outside of your comfort zone, courage to speak the truth in love, and the list goes on and on.
Side note- these are not all personal so don't worry dad. :)
C.S. Lewis wrote,
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of
every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of
highest reality. ”Reread that and think about it:
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”*So courage is walking out any given virtue when it is most difficult to do so. So what virtues are we talking about? Okay all of them, but let's name a few and provide some examples:
Acceptance- Courage to accept a certain set of circumstances or a certain person as God's best.
Cheerfulness/Joyfulness- Courage to see the beauty in our day and find joy in it.
Confidence- Courage to walk boldly in the path that God has set before us.
Devotion- Courage to stay faithful to our commitments.
Endurance- Courage to continue in the race before us when we want to be done.
Excellence- Courage to do our best when our motivation may not be there.
Gentleness- Courage to not respond out of emotion but to be gentle in the way we approach others.
Hope- Courage to trust in God's promise and look to the future when all around you may seem lost.
Peacefulness- Courage to pursue peace in your day and your circumstances
Thankfulness- Courage to set your eyes on your blessings, to have perspective, and to give thanks.
Oh my goodness these are just a few out of probably a 100.
What do you need courage for today?
It doesn't have to be something enormous by the world's standards. Maybe it is just enormous to you and you have reached the "highest reality" of a specific virtue. I can tell you that what I consistently need courage for is letting God have the big things like the adoption so I can honor Him in the everyday. I guess I would be at the "highest reality" of trust.
May we all embrace the realities of our day with the virtue of courage.