I am excited to introduce you to a series that begins today and continues for the next eight weeks with three of my favorite friends. Together we will share insight, challenges, and our faith through our journeys of perseverance. Please join myself, Holly Barrett, Debbie Kitterman and Patricia Krank as we learn from each other and share encouragement with our own stories of perseverance.
I stood at the bottom looking up, shading my eyes to see the top. “You got this”, I said to myself. The rest of the group congregated nearby to hear the directions from the leaders. I look again to where my destination lies and vaguely hear, “it’s about a mile and a half to the top.” A thought crosses my mind. “I walk farther than that daily. No problem”!
Confidence and smiles grace the faces of those around me. I plaster a smile on my face and begin the trek up the side of the volcano. After a few minutes my courage and confidence turns to fear. Will I make it to the top? Do I want to climb to the top and will I make it before the sun sets? The perseverance I embraced minutes ago now looks impossible and what seemed easy became challenging.
My journey through life often emanates a fear of the unknown. As a lover of details and knowing what’s next, I find when I have no control over any of it, I suffer from fear. Any brave I feel during other moments of clarity is lost during these times. Instead of desiring to persevere through the unknown, I tend to shut down and close myself off.
One of my favorite stories of bravely overcoming fear comes from the Book of Nehemiah. He receives word that the wall of Jerusalem has been destroyed and his people are in great trouble. Nehemiah immediately weeps and begins to pray to God that He would hear him and his plea for the Israelites. As cupbearer to the king, Nehemiah needed favor to approach the king to ask to travel to Jerusalem to check on his people. Nehemiah steps out in brave faith and the king bestows favor on him. Without knowing the details, Nehemiah perseveres toward rebuilding the wall believing Jesus was enough.
When Nehemiah met opposition for rebuilding the wall, he still pushed through believing God would provide everything needed to complete the task. He tells those mocking him:
I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it. Nehemiah 2:20
Nehemiah met success and defeated fear brick by brick as he and his fellow people rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. I also found success one hot, sunny day in Nicaragua as I defeated my fear and climbed to the top of the volcano. But bravery comes with lessons of overcoming and persevering.
Climbing a volcano requires the help of other people.
About halfway up the side, I hit the proverbial wall and one more step forward seemed impossible. The kindness of those around me kept me going. As they cheered me on, I gained strength and I was then able to do the same for those behind me.
Resting along the way is not only okay but it is necessary.
As we face our fears, God calls us to walk forward bravely step by step. Sometimes it looks like hard work and other times He asks us to be still and wait for what’s next.
Overcoming fear and walking bravely involves looking forward, not behind.
Looking behind on the climb only reminded me that I had not made it to the top. By fixing my eyes forward on Jesus, made the destination manageable.
Persevering resembles praying “I can’t, but you can” over and over.
The strength of God pushed me to the top that day. By stepping out in brave faith, God provided the perseverance I needed to conquer my fear.
At times during the climb, I literally could not see the top, but Jesus cleared the way when I trusted Him with the Way. Persevering in brave faith allows your fears to subside. Jesus replaces fear with His strength, courage and endurance.
As I stood on the top of the volcano and watched the sunset, I heard a whisper saying “Well done, my daughter.” I treasure those words each day as I seek brave faith.
How does God push you beyond your fears to brave faith in your own life?
To learn more about my journey to brave faith and to start your own walk to brave faith, click below to find the details for Brave Faith: A 31 Day Devotional Journey.
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