Monday, December 30, 2013

Courage To Face The Unknown

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” Luke 1:46-50 NIV
I stared at the hospital’s stony fa├žade with my husband at my side. I was eighteen years old and in labor with my first child. Though I’d prepared with childbirth classes, my mind raced with what the real deal would be like. The cold, sterile environment inside the hospital did little to calm my nerves. I tried to muster my courage. After all, the birth would happen, ready or not.
Courage comes in many forms, sometimes in small packages. A young Jewish girl named Mary was engaged to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter, when an angel appeared to her. The New Testament gives few details regarding Mary, but in the book of Luke, the angel greets her with the phrase, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Wow! That phrase may be small, but it packs a mighty message.
The rest of the message is enough to make even the toughest woman quake. Mary would be the mother of the Son of God.
Mary’s reply? “I am the LORD’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Was Mary scared when Jesus’ birth was imminent? The Bible doesn’t say, but given the Jewish culture, Mary had much to fear. Joseph could desert her upon learning about her pregnancy. Much worse—being stoned for her “sin.”
However, Mary was not only obedient facing potential persecution—she was courageous.
We know the rest of the story. Joseph, a faithful servant of God, stayed with Mary and became Jesus’ earthly father.
The angel’s proclamation filled Mary with joy, but the angel never promised life would be easy. Over thirty years later, Mary watched her son die on a cross. Obedience often brings pain. But God promises to be with us through that pain.
Being courageous facing the unknown, or what your life experiences tell you might happen, is tough. God’s supernatural power which lives in Christians is tougher.
What challenges are you facing in 2014? If you are living in God’s will, He will give you the tools and strength to conquer them.
All you need is courage.
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Meditation:
As you pray about your goals for 2014, consider these words from Joshua 1:7-9: “Be strong and very courageous…Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


Laura Hodges Poole is a freelance writer with dozens of articles, devotions, and short stories in publication. She writes Christian romance novels and is a 2012 RWA Emily finalist, placing second amongst a nationwide field of Christian and secular entries. Laura is also an Associate Editor with Christian Devotions ministry, as well as a ghostwriter. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk through her blog, "A Word of Encouragement." She may be contacted at laurapoole565@gmail.com.

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