For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:15
I was raised by a hard-working man who held at least two to three jobs at a time. His courage allowed him to face daunting obstacles and overcome them. As a child, poverty resided in his home, and he wanted to boot it out the door. So when food was scarce, he took his gun and killed whatever he could find, skinned it, cooked it, and brought it to the table. When he was in the eighth grade, he borrowed money, planted a crop, and sold it to make money for his family. It didn’t kick poverty out of the door, but it moved the unwelcome guest a little farther from his seat at the dinner table.
When I think about of examples of courage, I think of my earthly father and my heavenly Father. I can know that my heavenly Father can overcome obstacles because I’ve seen my earthly father overcome hundreds of them. I have seen the victories accomplished by both of them.
You’d think that the courage flowing through my earthly father would have surged through my veins. But it hasn’t. I remember talking to my father when I was going through a divorce and feeling fearful. I was quaking in my boots. (My ex-husband had decided he wanted someone else instead of me, and I was scared of raising children alone.) My dad told me, “Look at your old pa. Take courage. Don’t be afraid. Have a little spunk.” He knew that I could get through the trial because he had overcome so many with the help of the Lord.
Soon after the talk with my earthly father, my heavenly Father began talking to me. I read Joshua 1:9. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. God told me to quit being afraid. He told me to walk with Him, and “be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction. . . . Do not turn from it to the right or the left” (Joshua 1:7). My job was to carefully follow God and live a life without fear.
I began to take small steps of faith, and soon God brought me a kind and loving husband. God brought me comfort and love, but He has allowed the trials in my life to keep bombarding me. He has allowed me to hurt, to suffer, and to question. All the time he has kept proclaiming the same truth: Do not fear and do not turn to the right or to the left. Keep following me.
I have to remember that it is not God’s will for me to “fall back into fear” when trials come (Romans 8:15). God does not want me to be chained to fear. Instead God wants me to trust Him even when I suffer so that I “may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:15). God will not take away all my pain or all of your pain. He will not pave for us an easy path, but He wants us to be courageous as we walk down our bumpy paths because He is with us, holding our hands and guiding our footsteps.
- He is Big Enough (carolynrice.wordpress.com)