Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, nor afraid or discouraged: for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
One of my favorite scenes in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is when Eowyn (a woman of royalty) looks at Meriadoc (a.k.a. Merry)- about to embark on the biggest battle Middle Earth has ever seen- and says "Courage Merry...you ride with me." She sweeps him off his feet and on to her horse and ride off into battle. You can just see the courage rise up within him as he makes the decision of a lifetime. Although a small and untrained hobbit who has made his share of mistakes along his journey, he decides to choose courage in the face of most certain death.
The stakes were high and he knew it.
Sometimes as humans, we forget to choose courage. We look around at our circumstances and wonder how we ever got ourselves into this mess. We worry that we're not good enough, pretty enough, talented enough, strong enough or even a good candidate for what God is asking us to do- or go through. Life is altogether too much sometimes. We get overwhelmed, discouraged and tired.
Whether it's ministry stuff, people stuff, family stuff or just plain lack of sleep, God is encouraging us to be strong and choose courage because HE is with us wherever we go. We can confidently choose courage because we are not alone. I love the comfort I find in that.
I find myself praying, "God! Please change these circumstances... or change me!" Usually He wants to change me. Honestly, I hate and love that all at the same time.
Many of the women in my life are the most courageous people I know. They don't usually see themselves that way. They have gone through things that would nearly kill the average person, yet they still stand. I admire these women! I know that it's by the grace of God that they stand. They know it too, because they are not average women. They wrestle with fear often and know it well. But they also know that their strength comes from the Lord and that they have a daily choice to make. Yes, daily.
Give in- or fight.
Not because they are so great, but because their God is so great. And He has their back.
Courage friends. You do not ride alone.