When we need courage – how do we find it?  What is it?  How do we use it? Being brave and courageous are a part of our Christian walk – as followers of Jesus.

Psalm 31:24 says Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.

There are times when we do not feel brave, but can “take courage”.  I have learned this so many times in my life.  I do not have to rely on myself to be brave.  Most recently I have had the opportunity to be brave and bold with advocating for my mother while she has been in the midst of a critical health crisis.  There have been times when the battle seemed to be raging all around me, from her declining health, questioning her healthcare providers, and family members with different ideas about how to best support her.  It is in that space where it felt like so much was coming against me!!  It is there, in that moment, where I need to remember to “take courage”.

Taking courage is an action.  To take courage is to remember that we are not the source of bravery.  Jesus tells us 7 times in the New Testament to take courage.

In the midst of the battles, those terrifying trials that seem to be too big for you, it is there that we pause. To surrender is always the safest place. James 4:7.  I have to remember that in the midst of the current battle.  I stop, take a breath and ask the Lord to show me exactly where He is in this with me, and lean into Him. Having that awareness that Jesus is the source of all things, in these moments of sheer terror, when all the emotions culminate into a crescendo welling up inside of me, I know I can pour it all out to the Lord.  He hears me, knows every detail about me and every detail about the current situation I am dealing with.

Recently, I have had to battle to get my mother transferred to better care, advocating, and praying, calling in all siblings, and soliciting help from extended family to help with the process.   Knowing I had done all I could, it was then all up to God.  I surrendered it all to Him, my fears, my weariness, and my petitions for what I knew to be right for her.  HE then stepped in and changed the heart of another that was not allowing her to be transferred.  The Lord worked His miracle to soften this heart, so my mom could be transferred.  It was a long airlift, and she made it, but was in really rough shape when she landed at the University Medical Center.  Watching her be wrapped up, wheeled out, all hooked up to so many machines, and then lift off the ground was one of the hardest things I have had to do.  Taking courage from Jesus was the only thing I could do at that moment. Trusting Him with all my emotions, and my mother’s life.  She was in His hands.

As I write this, sitting in her ICU room, on day 4 here, she is coming out of a very critical state.. I was able to see her eyes today, and get a sweet, crooked smile – even though she is still intubated and immobile.  Her crinkly eyes and the corner of her mouth curling up at recognizing me was a gift from heaven.

I can take courage at any time from the Lord.  He is always waiting for me to do so, with all things.  It is in this deep place of intimacy with Him that I can lean into His strength, and rest.  He is good, and always with me, ready to hand me courage whenever I need it.

Pam Mertz, ACC, Coach Presenter Director