Take Courage

Deuteronomy 31:6a "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." NIV

Psalm31:24 "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."NIV

Matthew 14:27 "But Jesus immediately said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." NIV

My Yorkshire Terrier Sienna, who weighs 5 pounds, 4 ounces, was the most fearful little creature I'd ever met when she first came to live with us as a puppy. No one could get near her and she shook and trembled in every new situation. There were those who thought she was a hopeless case but I knew otherwise and began a rigorous course of action.

I took Sienna with me everywhere: in the van, to work, to the gallery, into social settings. Her shaking and trembling did not discourage me or let her off the hook. This was for her own good, she didn't know that, but I did.

Today Sienna comfortably travels everywhere with me, including long distance trips on the plane. She is calm and poised and able to enjoy life in a way she never could have experienced if she had not learned to take courage.

God speaks frequently in the Scriptures about taking courage, about being strong and taking heart. He does so because he knows how fearful we as human beings can be. This life is full of scary situations, life threatening situations: Situations which we are all called to face at one time or another. Amidst such times however, we must choose to remember that we are never alone. Just as I never left Sienna alone amidst all the various situations I exposed her to, God never, ever, ever leaves us alone. He is right there beside us, as well as within us and he is able. In fact he is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of-infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes through his mighty power which is at work within us...the person of Jesus Christ through his Holy Spirit.

So today be active, be obedient, take courage, if you find yourself in a scary situation. God is with you and he is able, and so are you because Christ dwells within you and we can do all things through him who gives us strength.

Prayer: Father today we pledge within our hearts to boldly and obediently take courage when and as we need it. We thank you that it is always available to us through your mighty power which is at work within us. Help our trembling hearts and spirits to believe in the truth that you are always with us and are always able amidst whatever we may be called to face, now and forevermore. In Christ's name we ask. Amen.

Lynne Phipps Atlin, B.C.

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