I awoke this morning feeling incredibly blessed by God. The amazing fact that I am His child has filled me with a new-found sense of peace and joy. To be so loved, so cared for and valued in His eyes can bring me to tears some days. Our God is a faithful God, through the ups and downs of this life He is with us and with the greatest of pleasure loves to bless us.
I had my 7th surgery in 8 months on Monday and God was present in so many ways. There were lovely friends who came to take me for surgery, spend the night and care for me afterwards, there are prayers being said for me every day, I have a surgeon who reminded me to pray for wisdom on next steps, and I have my family who loves and supports me no matter the choice I make going forward.
Gratefully, the tumor was again small, and the surgeon was able to remove it, but again, it continues to grow back leaving us with the decision ahead of when to remove my kidney and await a transplant. With each surgery the decision looms closer, but each time God is there. He fills me with the energy, both physically and spiritually, to persevere through this medical challenge.
It takes a certain kind of courage to face the challenges in our lives. The world’s courage is often more of a stoic, stand strong, forge ahead, put one foot in front of the other, rely upon yourself type of courage. But as a Christian, courage takes a whole new perspective on living life in the midst of our everyday challenges. We all have challenges in our lives, different for each of us, but life is not without them. Yours may be health related like mine, or maybe you are faced with financial challenges for your family, or for many in our area, water challenges with all the rain we’ve received, but in and through each, God is there.
Over the last few weeks, God has placed the word courage on my heart. I have been trying to determine why the word “courage.” I believe for me it is a two-fold reason.
He is reminding me of the courage it takes to stand firm in my faith in the midst of the challenges. It would be easy to falter, to find fault with my circumstances and to be constantly angry, but it takes courage to get up each day and look to God for the sustaining power to persevere moment by moment through the uncertainty. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and am able to truly see Him at work around me. That is courage, to dig deep into my faith and allow God into my struggles and frustrations.
The other thing He is teaching me, it takes courage to admit you can’t do it alone. Pretending everything is easy and ok doesn’t make me courageous. Living life with a mask on only serves to make this life more difficult. Living authentically with Jesus and with those close to me is a courageous step that ultimately glorifies God. When I’m being real, I’m not wasting energy, I am able to live fully in the present with Jesus, my eyes opened to the presence of God and His fullness each day. That is where joy can be found in the midst of this life.
Courage is the realization that it is God who holds all things together, not me. (Colossians 1:17)
Courage is continuing to thirst after God in the midst of my circumstances. (Psalm 42:1-2)
Courage is allowing and accepting the strength for each day to come from God and to stop trying to power through on my own. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Take a moment right now and open your heart to Jesus. Share what is truly on your heart. Ask Him to fill you with the courage to be authentic. Ask Him into your circumstances and be filled anew with the peace that can only come from HIm.