Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of this blog first an update on the prayer requests last Monday. One may recall last Monday we asked you all to pray for mine and Amy’s vacation to Western Belize.
We prayed for
- The kids having a great day with Kayla and Michelle – THEY DID PRAISE GOD
- Michelle and Kayla would have energy and the kids would sleep in – THEY DID PRAISE GOD!
- REST, RELAX, FORGET – We were able to rest and relax (hard to forget all that’s going on when you are moving in about a month – But God answered. It as an awesome vacation!!
- Energy upon return – We have MORE energy than we did before we left – PRAISE GOD!
Vacation was incredible. Amy and I enjoyed great fun, hiking through waterfalls, up mountains, and tubing down rivers. There were some touch and go moments. For example, while on our hike to the top of the mountain we encountered 4 snakes (3 of them poisonous!!!)!! Also, I flipped out of my tube while heading down the waterfall, but don’t worry, I hopped right back in and didn’t lose my sunglasses. We had a great food and a lot of great, (some hard) but great conversations. Finally we had GREAT naps! Vacation was exactly what we needed heading into these last 30 days! Thank you for praying!
Now onto today’s update….
Courage what a great word. What does courage mean? I could look it up but I think (at least for right now in my life) it means taking risks without knowing the outcome. I think courage and faith are almost synonyms. Courage could be defined as faith in action with risk.
Each night our family (Amy, Michelle, Kayla, and myself) sit down to glean from God’s Word. We have just gotten through reading Ruth, Esther, and Daniel. These books are filled with great faith, great risk, great courage. Look at some of the examples:
- From Ruth
- After her husband died she was determined and courageously affixed her life to Naomi’s saying I am your and your are mine. Her courage was so deep that Naomi said no more (Ruth 1:16 – 18)
- She risked physical harm or worse by going into the fields to glean after the reapers so Naomi was taken care of (Ruth 2:2)
- She obeyed Naomi and offered herself to Boaz by laying at his feet (Ruth 3:4-5)
- From Esther
- After learning of the plot to kill the Jesus, Esther puts plans in place to foil the plan for Haman. Each time she talks to the king, she gets more and more and more bold, eventually having the courage to point her finger at Haman and telling the king that he was the one to kill all the Israelites. She risked her own life by going before the king without being summoned. She risked it even further by identifying herself as one of the Israelites. She risked it again by pointing her finger at the kings 1st in command and accusing him of trying to eliminate her people
- From Daniel
- He had courage to maintain his resolve and not defile the king’s food
- He had courage to rely on God for an interpretation of a dream he had not heard told to him.
- He had courage to continue to pray even when the result was guaranteed death.
Such stalwarts of great faith. What examples of great courage. Look at those situations, they are all different. There are different situations for Ruth, for Esther, and for Daniel. Even in each individual’s life the situations that called for courage were different each time. Courage is like that. Activities that we once thought are courageous are now normal. I look at my own life as an example. The first time that we took a step of faith and volunteered in Children’s ministry in the 2yr old room…that was courageous. Then I went on to be a small group leader for 2nd grade boys and followed them through middle school..I thought that was courageous. I remember vividly in 2007 the courage that it took for me to come on our first mission trip Belize and then in 2009, 2010, 2011, the courage it took to help lead some people from my church on their first mission trip to Belize. Then there was the courage it took to move to Belize and now the courage it takes to follow God’s call back to the States for who knows what next.
Each time in my life when we as a family made a decision to act courageously, to step out in faith, it was different. It required a different type and at times a different amount of courage. Each time we were prompted to act courageously, the risk was different. Sometimes we risked ridicule, sometimes we risked friends. Now we are risking the comfortable. Life here in Belize is comfortable. It is know. It is NOT easy but it is what we know. We are stepping back into the States without truly fitting in anywhere. We are too American for Belize, too Belizean for America. We will be brave. God makes us brave. He is calling us and we will respond.
It’s not just in the “big” things. God may be calling you, calling us to courage in the small things. Maybe it’s forgiveness offered to someone who has hurt you. Maybe the Lord is calling you to volunteer at your local church, or share the Gospel with a coworker you haven’t shared your faith with yet. Maybe The Lord is asking you to be brave and start going to same grocery store every week at the same time or to go inside to get your favorite coffee and learn the names of those people who serve you. Whatever it is, it’s different for you than it is for me than it is for someone else. And this I know, it’s different in each situation of our own lives. Step out act courageously. Be brave. And when that action seems normal act courageously again the Lord will show up!
Those stories of Daniel, Esther, and Ruth are such great example of people after God’s own heart acting courageously and then more than that the Lord using their courage to bring more of himself and his glory, to accomplish His great rescue plan.
- great-grandmother of King David – “Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed,22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.” Ruth 4:21
- Esther foils the plot to kill her uncle and save her Jewish people.
- At the end of the book of Esther this is what it says “The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.” Esther 8:16-17
- After refusing to eat the Kings food and having The Lord sustain his health, Daniel and his 4 friends were promoted to the top of the king’s court. (end of Daniel chapter 1)
- Daniel relies on the Lord to interpret the dream of the King and after the interpretation, King Neb says “The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery” Daniel 2:47
- And after the episode with the Lion’s den, the King writes a decree to all people of the kingdom stating that “for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonder in heaven and on earth he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:26 – 27
Each time, each life, each instance of courage, the Lord showed up. He delivered. He rewarded and He was glorified. SO the question remains in your life, where the Lord calling you to act courageously. It’s time to Take heart, to be brave like Esther Hadassah and see the Lord be glorified.