You are driving on U.S. 33 when all of the sudden fear grips your heart as you anticipate the presentation you must make in front of the board of directors. Your heart begins to pound and your palms become sweaty as you picture the eyes that will be upon you. Or possibly, you just joined the PTA and someone has asked you to take an office. The thought of heading up anything almost paralyzes you with fear and you consider slipping out the restroom window while refreshments are being served.
There are many times in our lives that fear grips our heart, and we just do not think we have what it takes to accomplish a task or complete a goal. Many times throughout my life I have been there. I know what it is to be sick about and almost paralyzed with a daunting task. It is during these times that we learn what it is to take heart and muster up the courage to go on.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the doing of whatever has to be done even while we are afraid. Many during this recession have allowed fear to creep in and give them the knee shaking kind of fear that tends to spin out of control and lead to defeat. Take heart my friend. We are in this together and there is a courage that comes during times of adversity like no other time. Show me a time in history where times were lean and there were wars and trouble, and I will show you a people who turned to their God and the greatest victories followed times of hardship and seeming defeat.
Several years ago, on the descent to Washington, D.C., I felt small, insignificant and quite "back woodsy." I was asked to be the keynote speaker in a large women's conference on the East Coast. I knew the crowd was expected to be huge - around 2,000 women - and fear griped my heart as I thought, "what on earth were they thinking when they asked me to speak?" "Who am I?" and "Why on earth did I accept this invitation?"
I kept this up until, all of the sudden I remembered something an elderly woman told me concerning my fear to speak in front of women: "Kim, God has already prepared you for what he's called you to do." With that thought, I squared my shoulders and prayed, "God, when I speak do not let them hear me, let them hear you. And when they see me, do not let them see me, but let them see you."
Walking into the airport, I found the correct terminal and stood in line for check in. I felt someone patting my Bible and heard a small voice say, "I just love that book." Before my eyes was a lovely elderly woman in a wheelchair and she had an endearing smile. We chatted a moment and I went to find a seat. She once again found me and questioned me about my work and such.
I got up to board my flight, when all of the sudden, she was there again. Smoke must have been coming from the tires on her wheelchair. She was as quick as lightning. She then took my hand in her two soft, wrinkled hands and began: "When you speak, may the ladies not see you, but may they see God. And when they hear you, may they not hear you, but may they hear God." Tears streamed down my face as she spoke the very prayer I had prayed on the descent into D.C. It meant the world to me. She then got up from her wheelchair and walked into the crowd. She had been an angel to me that day. I needed courage and I got it.
The story of David and Goliath is one we've all heard often. The ruddy little boy goes in and takes out the giant that every big man in the army is afraid to fight. He wasn't suppose to fight. He was simply bringing lunch to his brothers. But Goliath insulted his God. David told his brother that God would fight this battle. They really did not believe him and thought he'd be killed. But instead, he took some smooth stones, and with the giant mocking him, he went round and round with the sling, and bingo ... the giant went down. David then took the sword from the giant and cut off his head.
Not a pretty picture, I know. But this represents the battles that you and I must face sometimes. We feel small, weak and insignificant. We look around (the first mistake) and everyone else seems to have it all together, but we feel afraid. But we must be like David, know that it is God who fights our battles and wins our wars.
The point is, we all have something in common, and that is: none of us have the world by the tail, and we all have faults, failures, insecurities and fears. It is God who will pick us up, so to speak and bid us to go on and do what we must. Interestingly enough, when I got up to speak to those 2,000 women in that conference, my heart pounded a bit with excitement, but the fear had melted away. Courage had won another battle. And so it will with you my friend. Recession or no recession, we will be empowered with the courage to put one foot in front of another and accomplish our purpose for being placed on this earth.
"Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest" - Joshua 1:9.
Kimberly Short Wolfe, MA, is the grief counselor for Mountain Hospice and also a Homeschool mom. E-mail her: firstname.lastname@example.org or call:304-823-3922