Image by deltaMike via Flickr
Be strong and courageous
When you try something for the first time, or something you've already failed at, you need courage. Remember learning to walk? First you tried standing on shaky limbs, smiled in short-lived triumph, kept falling down, cried in frustration, and got back up until you mastered the art of standing. Something inside you told you that you were meant for more than just lying in a crib. Then came the next stage; walking. Sounds simple enough; but it wasn't. That's because wobbling always precedes walking. And that's the difference between adults and infants. As an infant you weren't image-conscious. You just saw arms outstretched toward you and heard a loving voice saying, 'Come on, you can do it!' And you've been walking ever since! That's why God says to anyone stepping into unknown territory, 'Be strong and courageous.' The word 'be' really means 'become.'
Courage is a quality you grow into, like filling bigger shoes. The more you walk in them, the more comfortable they get. It's not like a software program where you simply enter your password and 'hey presto,' you're courageous! Courage comes from spending time with God, seeing His arms outstretched toward you and hearing Him say, 'Come on, you can do it, I'm with you!'
On New Year's Eve the late King George read these wonderful words to the British people: 'I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown" and he replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"' .