When Hope and Courage are Born

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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She was a slip of a girl. Five years old on her last birthday; long, soft brown hair and startlingly clear blue eyes. She was full of energy and creative fun, but she could also curl up in any available lap to quietly suck her thumb. And she was tender, sensitive to the rumblings in her home.

Her family, you see, was sad and scared. The daddy was sick . . . since before she was born . . . and things had changed again. Her daddy had gone in and out of the hospital, had lost and regained his hair, and now his closet had an oxygen machine.

In August she started kindergarten. Her parents and big brother–a first grader–prepared her for her new adventure, and she began eagerly. But in the first month two big fears surfaced. The first came after a fire station field trip when she began to worry that her house would catch fire and she couldn't put it out. The second was that her mother wouldn't pick her up in the school carpool line. She had a hard time sleeping and made her teacher wait with her each day until her mom's car appeared.

Her mother talked with her and held her and encouraged her and prayed for her and comforted her. But the little girl was still afraid. Finally one day in a moment of semi-desperation, her mother got down on her child's level and put her hands on the little girl's shoulders. She looked into her daughter's huge blue eyes brimming with tears and said, "I love you, and I promise to take care of you. You will be all right . . . I will be with you. Do you believe me?" The little girl looked back at me and slowly nodded, and I saw hope and courage begin to be born.

Holding her close, I realized that God wanted to do the same with me. He was holding me, looking into my teary, fearful eyes, and saying, "I love you. I promise to take care of you. It will be all right. I will be with you. Do you believe me?" My own fears about my husband and the future melted a little right then, and hope and courage began to be born in me. Just as my daughter drew from me, I could draw from God.

Courage is not about fear or lack of fear. It's what we do when we are afraid. We can't drum up courage to escape fear. Courage comes not from our own strength, or talent, or fortitude, but from leaning into Christ. Courage is what allows us to be lifted up by the One who made us, who died for us, and lives in us by His Spirit.