Are we living in dangerous times as troubles intensify? Facing them requires courage, conquering them requires faith.
A couple of decades ago, it was a fall, breezy afternoon. The traffic was heavy in downtown St. Louis. My hands shook a little when I held my white cane and stood at the edge of the sidewalk. My very first attempt to cross the street on my own.
“Remember what I told you,” my mobility instructor said.
I gave a shy smile.
He placed his hand on my shoulder. “Listen carefully to the sound of engines, focus on each step forward, concentrate on the direction you’re going, do not hesitate or be intimidated, take firm steps swinging your cane from left to right.”
The loud and constant noise from car and truck engines before me was deafening. I froze, then looked in his direction and gave him a you’re out of your mind look. “I think we’ll go with plan B,” I said. “I’ll have a sighted person with me when I need to cross a street.”
That was the end of my mobility training. Go ahead, I give you permission to judge me as a coward and a wimpy blind gal. Without sight, crossing streets on my own was not happening.
You might also be intimidated by the traffic of troubles before you. You’re not alone. Some are paralyzed with fear. Some are confused. And others shrink back with helplessness. But perhaps you belong to the group who looks beyond the traffic, holds on to the white cane of faith and trusts in God’s understanding of your limited vision, of your uneasiness and the fear that attacks when crossing through the junk of life.
That’s why the answer to these three questions determines how equipped you are to face what’s before you and measures the level of your courage.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself
1. To whom are you listening?
“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV).
When your Divine Teacher speaks, His voice drowns out the noise from the traffic of troubles, of persistent evil and approaching threats. And rather than follow the trending lines on social media, we follow Jesus as we hear His voice of comfort: “My sheep hear Myvoice. I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27NIV).
And the closer we follow Him, the clearer His promise: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8 NIV). As you cross, He will watch, guide, and shield you.
2. Where do you fix your eyes?When you’re trying to navigate through days of desperation, looking at the financial struggles, broken relationships, situations you can’t change, God’s fingertips of love lift your chin for you to declare: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV).
If He made all in the universe, He will make the way for you to receive His strength. He will make the path clear for you to follow His lead to keep you safe during the journey.
3.Who do you allow to intimidate you?
Is it the uncertainty of tomorrow, is it the stress you cannot handle? Is it the marriage that’s crumbling? Is it conflict with the kids?
No matter which one threatens your security or peace, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).
No number of threats can bring you down, remove your courage or keep you defeated when you declare: “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7 NIV).
You trust Him with each struggle, with each heartache and with each anxious moment, because He will be by your side as your steps take you to the other side where peace is found, safety awaits, and confidence is yours.
Prayer: Lord, I confess I’m often paralyzed at the edge of the sidewalk of life, afraid of what could happen, but from now on, I will trust in You, listen to Your voice and with each step, hold on to Your hand for strength.
What keeps you from moving forth with courage? (For you: Bible Verses for difficult times.)
Janet Perez Eckles