Courage.

“Courage”

That’s the one word Nancy sent me to write about today. It’s not my favorite word, though she didn’t know that. (Maybe she did. She knows me well, even things I don’t know about myself).

Work signAs I’m standing next to hospital beds praying for patients and families at difficult times, “courage” is one of the things I ask for them from God. I ask for peace. I ask for wisdom. But I ask for courage, because it’s a thing in us that allows us to act on the wisdom, to live out the peace.

David was a warrior king. He had collected all the materials for a temple in Jerusalem, but God didn’t give him permission to build the temple. He drew up all the plans, but God didn’t give him permission. He had the desire, but God didn’t give him the permission.

Solomon, David’s son, was the one who had that responsibility. When David walks Solomon through the building process, he points out where the supplies are. He explains the plans. And then he offers this word:Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.”

It feels odd for a warrior to tell a builder to be courageous. But David knew that battle wasn’t the only place for courage. Carrying out plans. Leading groups of people, many of whom are older than you. Stewarding a project for years and more. In all these things we can find our resolve failing, our priorities shifting, voices complaining. David knows that the heart needs to stay engaged in the sandstorm of daily distractions.

So my word for you is Nancy’s word for me is David’s word for Solomon: be courageous and do the work. God is with you..

For me as soon as I schedule this, it means going out to mow and then run.

Be courageous. Do the work.

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