The Courage Within
August 25, 2014 Vicki Ohlerking

The Courage Within

August 25 2014

Holly Wagner | Pastor and Leader of God Chicks | Oasis Church | Los Angeles, CA

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

One Saturday morning eighteen years ago I decided to have a garage sale. My husband Philip and my son Jordan were off riding horses and I was setting up the sale. My daughter Paris, who was almost three, was roaming around the front yard ‘helping’ as only a toddler can.

A neighbor came over, leading her newly acquired dog on a leash. Paris went to pet the dog, when suddenly the dog turned and bit Paris in the face two times before his owner could stop him. With blood pouring down her face Paris started screaming and running toward me. I scooped her up, realizing this would require more than Band-Aids, put her in her car seat and we made the quick dash to the emergency room.

Upon arriving, the nurse told me that a plastic surgeon happened to be on call. This was good news. Definitely a good thing to have a plastic surgeon be the one to put stitches in a face!

As the surgeon was preparing, I had to hold Paris down as he injected shots of Novocain in her face to numb it so that he could begin stitching her up. In her little raspy, weepy voice as they were giving her shot after shot, Paris told me, “Mommy, I am OK…I want to go home now.” So did I! But we had some work to do first.

Holding my daughter down while she was in pain, getting shots, over 40 stitches and bleeding WAS THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE. But it never occurred to me to let someone else hold her down. So in that moment I was brave.

As a side note, when I got her home, she asked where the dog was because she thought “he needed a spanking!”

The life that you and I have been given will include moments that absolutely require us to be brave.

Courage is one of the qualities God demands of us as we face the unknown future. Just like Joshua.

In the first chapter of Joshua, God tells Joshua (and us) four times to be courageous. Why? Could it be because He knew we wouldn’t likely get it the first time? Is it because God knows our courage, like Joshua’s is sometimes hard to hold on to?

One of the definitions of courage implies facing the difficulties ahead with enthusiasm. Wow. Not sure I would go that far. I am up for facing challenges…but usually it is because it is necessary…not because I am looking forward to it.

Since God is asking us to be courageous, we must be able to!

It is not like he is asking us to be seven feet tall. He is asking or rather commanding us to be something that He has equipped us to be.

God calls us, just like He called Joshua, to take our land…whatever that would be…marriage, job, parenting, health… with strength and courage.

We need courage as we live out our life.

Courage will be needed in order to speak up when it is necessary.
Courage will be needed to navigate a health challenge.
Courage will be needed to get through a rough time in a marriage.
Courage will be needed to forgive the person who betrayed you.

Courage is within you!!!!