If I had ten dollars for every time someone commented on how "courageous" I was for handling the changes I've experienced in this past year, I could buy a year's supply of Dunn Bros coffee beans.
Truth: I am not so courageous, and neither are most people. "Press on" is an operating system, not a character quality.
Fact: Numbness resembles courage, and allows people to do things as if they were robots.
Courage is a real thing, but if I've had any courage this past year, God graciously flooded me with it to complete the next task.
And the next.
Like deciding whether or not to move. And then deciding to say "yes" to the move, which resulted in a sold home. And then teaching a conference in Texas, flying to Minnesota, sleeping in my Minnesota home for one last time and then boarding a flight to Florida all within days.
Days. Saturday night I was flying from Texas to Minnesota. Sunday night I was saying "farewell" to a church family I've known and loved for decades. Monday morning, the moving truck backed into the driveway, put barcode stickers on everything and emptied the house. Tuesday morning, I was flying from Minnesota to Florida.
Delta ticket agent: "Where are you flying today, Mrs. Taylor?"
My reply: "Pensacola, Florida."
Delta ticket agent: "Vacation?"
My reply: "Relocation."
When the rececption team in the Delta Sky Club found out that I was relocating (they knew me well), they signed a card and gave me a gift before I left. Their kindness brought the tears I had managed to hold back at the ticket counter.
Robotic. Go. Move. Do. Again. But God does grant courage, and then He tells us to own it. He provides it, but we can choose whether or not we're going to grow into it.
To "be of good courage" takes action on our part. It literally means "grow strong." And when we allow courage to take root and grow, it strengthens us. But we will need more. Life takes a steady supply of courage.
When things change in a way that you can't undo, courage is a form of life support.
No one signs up for an exclusive membership to the Adversity Club. It's an auto-enrollment. And when it's your turn for a special delivery, the surprise event is on your doorstep, free shipping and no returns.
And that's when we need the kind of courage that comes from God. Courage is better than bravery alone. Bravery is too much about us. Courage is about trusting God for strength we do not possess.
God went with Joshua into battle, and He is with me in Florida.
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)
Never assume that people are as courageous as they seem to be. It is possible to hide a mountain of fears behind a smiling countenance. Courage is not automatic, but God says to be of good courage, so I'm asking Him to teach me how to be of good courage, and He will also strengthen my heart in the process.
He has an unlimited supply of courage, and we all need it. Especially if you look like you're so courageous when you're really not.
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD." (Psalm 31:24)