Thursday, August 9, 2012

Courage in the face of grief and pain

Courage is….

Courage in the face of grief and pain is to grasp hold of ‘life in all its fullness’ when all you want to do is to curl up and cry in bed all day and just wish the world away…

Courage is the will to get out of bed in the mornings, to shower and to wash your hair, to put on makeup and earrings and to dress nicely and walk down stairs and carry on with life for the day. To do what you have to do no matter how you feel. To see whoever the Lord wants you to see no matter how much you want to hide away from the world.

Courage is to wonder as far as your garden or to wander through a park and to sit in the warm sunshine and to enjoy God’s wonderful creation. To notice the flowers and to smell them, pick them and enjoy them. To delight in His tiny creatures.

Courage is to engage with your children…to laugh with them and play with them and help them with their chores, to cry with them and patiently take time to see that they struggle too and to hug them and listen to them and be quiet with them.  To steadfastly pray with them, sing with them and read God’s word to them; to teach them and to give them time to ask questions about God and to gently and tenderly answer them.

To take a walk in a forest with trees so immense that you feel so small and to try to imagine how big our God of the universe must be and how capable God is of looking after your small problems. To think about how He knows when a hair slips from your head -right now, in 17 minutes time, while you slumber tonight – for He never slumbers nor sleeps, He always knows how many hairs we have upon our crowns.

Courage is to wander by the ocean and feel His wind against your sun warmed skin and remember how He stilled the storm, He will still your storms too. Courage is to remember that He is the Light of the world and that in heaven we will need no sun, for we will see Him in all His glory face to face ...courage is to get excited about a wondrous eternity. Courage is to enjoy to feel some of His millions of grains of sand between your toes, and to remember He chose you as a ‘son of Abraham’ since before the beginning of time. To swim in His great waves and remember His power when they knock you flat. And wonder at His mercy in not totally consuming you. And when you leave the ocean to notice how small those powerful waves really are.

Courage is to pant up his great hills and to imagine his greatest mountaintops which you could not even see on the dot of earth if you were to go further out into the universe. And to know He is quite able of carrying you through trouble and to give you rest, because He will. 

Courage is to pray until you know that wherever God will take you, whatever more heartaches you still have to face in life - you will always still love Him, trust Him and know that He will carry you ...  for He loves you with an everlasting love, a covenantal love, a perfect love that never ends.  He has no boundaries, He has no beginning and no end, he infinitely wise; He is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

Courage is to see the last hint of the sunset or to get up early enough to see the first hint of the sunrise and to worship the great artistic Lord, who takes time each day to paint beauty into your life.

Courage is to make the choice of living life in all its fullness…to be thankful in the face of adversity, to praise God for who He is, to worship when our face is smudged in the dirt, to have gratitude for mercy, for salvation and for blessings, to rejoice in God’s promises, to tremble at His holiness, to cry out for help, to long for heaven, to hanker to see him face to face, to accept what cannot be changed, to fight for what has to be changed with grace and forgiveness and graciousness and dignity, compassion and kindness and love.

Courage is to try and be more like Him seated at the right hand of Abba Father, and to beg for His help in so trying.

Courage is to step out of bed each morning - in faith when you feel as if you cannot go on. To lift your weeping heart to God, to wipe your weeping night away with worship and with love. Courage is to trust God in His perfect wisdom for He does all things for our good. Courage is to realize that it is pride to think that we should live in a sinful world but to be exempt from the heart ache of evil and its consequences. Courage is not to ask 'why God', but 'why not'? Courage is to ask, ‘what can I learn from this, how can I better love God in this, how can I better serve God, how can I have better compassion?' Courage is to never stop reading God’s word, to always keep praying and, in His grace, to always believe He will give wisdom when we ask in faith despite the impossible difficulty of your situation.

Courage is to remember the Lord's dignified regal silence when falsely accused and to be quiet when quietness better honours our Lord.

Courage is to run the good race remembering that we have not yet agonized to the point of shedding blood, to remember Gethsemane and Calvary; to always be looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith! To enjoy him forever and bring glory to Him when it seems impossible due to circumstances by simply crying out to Him for help, for He will help you and be glorified (Psalm 50:15)

Courage is to ask others for help you when you know you need help, to cry with them and pray with them and to know God's gentle hand upon you when they touch your life.

Courage is to grasp hold of ‘life in all its fullness’ for the giver of eternal life so gives us such a life! 
Blessed be the Lord!
May the Lord give us such courage!

Because He lives, just for my precious Jessica

Make me a captive, Lord. By George Matheson, 1842 - 1906

  1. Make me a captive, Lord.
    And then I shall be free;
    Force me to render up my sword,
    And I shall conq'ror be.
    I sink in life's alarms
    When by myself I stand,
    Imprison me within Thine arms,
    And strong shall be my hand.
  2. My heart is weak and poor
    Until it master find:
    It has no spring of action sure,
    It varies with the wind;
    It cannot freely move
    Till Thou hast wrought its chain;
    Enslave it with Thy matchless love,
    And deathless it shall reign.
  3. My power is faint and low
    Till I have learned to serve:
    It wants the needed fire to glow,
    It wants the breeze to nerve;
    It cannot drive the world
    Until itself be driven;
    Its flag can only be unfurled
    When Thou shalt breathe from heaven.
  4. My will is not my own
    Till Thou hast made it Thine;
    If it would reach the monarch's throne
    It must its crown resign;
    It only stands unbent
    Amid the clashing strife,
    When on Thy bosom it has leant,
    And found in Thee its life.

Source (you can hear the music hear too):
or you can use this tune