This is a short but powerful quote from the movie Cinderella (2015). It’s spoken by Cinderella’s mother to her little Ella as a child. The words resonate so strongly with her that they are woven into the very fabric of her being. As Cinderella navigates what quickly turns into a heartbreaking and often unfair life, she handles herself with untold grace and patience…kindness and courage.
I was thinking recently how this simple motto is also heavily reflected in scripture! Let’s take a look at some scriptures about courage.
This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
My personal favourite…the current theme of my heart
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
…And there are so many more! Over and over in scripture, God is reminding us not to fear, not to worry, have courage, be brave. As a child, my idea of courage and bravery included epic sword fights and battles, diving into peril and putting your life at risk to save the day. While these are most definitely examples of bravery and courage, I must admit that I cannot remember the last sword fight I had…! Courage can look like many different things in many different situations. It certainly can be an epic battle, a heroic save, or the selfless serving and protecting of others every day. May I also suggest, however, that sometimes courage can mean…to rest…? To not move, even when it seems illogical…? To hold still and wait on God…?
Read Psalm 27:14 again. Isn’t it interesting that God would give us the instruction of “be brave and courageous” but plunk it right down between two directives to “wait patiently for the Lord”? I think He is trying to tell us something – sometimes it takes courage to stop and be still. To wait.
I am a doer. I see a problem, I come up with a solution and I go fix it. It’s part of who I am. This aspect of my personality has come in handy many times in my life! However, it has taken a problem to arise in my life so big that I absolutely cannot fix in any way through my own planning or ability, for me to realize that I need to learn to wait. And for a doer like me, that takes courage. Now I am realizing that I need to wait on God, not only when I can’t see a solution, but sometimes when I can! There are numerous accounts in the Old Testament when the Israelites saw a problem and used their own ideas to fix it. The ideas were often logical and I could see how they arrived at their conclusion, but their solutions backfired and things often got worse. Why? Because they didn’t wait on God for HIS solution, for His best. God never says, “You go on ahead and I’ll follow”! No, my friend, God knows what is much further ahead than we do. He knows the best solution in the best time. This is why He says “wait patiently for Me”.
If we learn to wait on God before we step, He will cultivate even more courage in us. And, in the waiting, we will learn to hear His voice. So that when He says, “It’s time. Go!”, we know we are walking in the right path, the one He has set for us, the one that will bring about the best solution in the best time. Is it easy? No. Is there a cut and dry pattern to follow? No. But is it worth it? Definitely. To get to see God’s handiwork unfold the best answer when you need it, because you learned to wait on Him and follow His voice? Most definitely worth it.
Let’s ask God to help us have the courage to walk in His steps for our lives. Let’s learn to wait when He says and only go when He lead us. I am convinced that it will take us down an even more amazing path than we could ever dream!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Love and blessings,
P.S. Next time, we will look at the second part of the motto…Be Kind!