Each and every post I write has the same foundation: Redefining the word Special. Seeing that “Special” really is special has changed my life, and has helped me see many other things with a completely new perspective as well. Today I’m talking about redefining, or at least expanding our definition of COURAGE.
“Be strong and courageous” – How many times have I heard sermons or teachings on these four words from the Bible? We recently spent an entire month teaching this theme to our Elementary kids sunday school class. This is one of the overarching messages in the Old Testament for the people of God. Joshua received this emphatic commission before embarking on his epic adventures. King Hezekiah used it in his speech delivered to the people of Jerusalem on the eve of invasion by the Assyrians. But only recently did I discover this instance:
“Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Dont be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” 1 Chronicles 28:20
Here the period isn’t after courageous, it’s….”and do the work.” We don’t often associate courage with working. But here it is in the context of finishing a lengthy and tedious project. Boy does that fit the special mom’s job description! It’s not enough to be courageous at the doctor appointment, not just during the meltdown or crisis, the IEP meeting or hospital stay. The truth is that courage is required to continue the work to it’s completion every single day – forever. As a matter of fact I texted my husband at 9:01am today to say “I’ve done more before 9am than most people do in a whole day”.
I love that in the NIV version above, David follows up with “Dont be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.” In this passage, a father is encouraging his son to complete a monumental project which will span his entire lifetime and define the lives and talents of entire generation of Israelites. Dad exhorts his son to be courageous, not by saying “I’ll be here by your side” but by saying God – My God – is with you.
How to defeat the discouragement or fear that can seep into your heart after long days and longer nights? Know that the Lord God – who is THE God – will be with you. He goes before you, He doesn’t leave you alone. He will not fail or forsake you. And HE will see to it that all the work related to your ‘project’ is finished correctly. Meditate on the privilege and honor that He has ordained a specific plan and course for you and He promises to enable you to do the work.
And since my morning today with Nick was so challenging, I am posting this pic of Nick’s CAMPER OF THE DAY certificate that he got yesterday.
Lord, you know more than any other that my “job” as a parent/a spouse/a caregiver/etc. is work, it’s not easy and sometimes not fun. Thank you that your holy spirit can enable me to do the work joyfully and completely, so that I can achieve the great satisfaction of finishing what you created me to do. Be with me today, fill me with courage to continue this work.