It Sounds Like Love and Feels Like Courage {#LentChallenge}

My calendar is an exercise in foreboding joy. I have some exciting opportunities penciled in and a couple possibilities sticky-noted to the margins. But where excitement and smiles should be, is only dread.

Not dread like the bassets need a bath and there’s nobody but me to do it. It’s a dread thickened by fear, like something bad could happen. 

Inside these opportunities lurk risk. Possible criticism. Potential rejection. These are three things I’ve done a stand up job of avoiding.

I dread leaving the safety zone. I’m afraid I will live here forever and simultaneously terrified if I don’t, I will be wounded {again and again}. I use lame excuses to disguise my shaking knees: I’m not qualified. I’m too busy. I’m not good at that.

Yesterday I ask the Bible Study ladies to pray for me. I keep it simple, ambiguous. “I just need courage.” Low key will keep the questions and accountability away.

Today I read,

|So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:26-28).

But Lord, I protest, sometimes it feels like the soul is going to die. 

That’s because you enjoy the softness of safety, more than the joy and cost of following Me. Stop being such a wimp. You are not above your masterI hear his reply.

My heart knows his words are true. I have become a wimp. A hider. Compromiser. A wait and worrier. Not brave. Or convicted.

But today is not for condemnation, rather repentance. It is for sorrowing the time wasted. The words squandered. The opportunities lost.

Fear, you and I have to stop meeting like this. This emotional affair is over. Done. Go find yourself a new lover. I am being called to faithfulness to my one true love. Now go away with your threats. 

Today is for mercy too. It is mercy that sounds like love and feels like courage when he whispers 

|Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31).

***

I’m joining Margaret for the #LentChallenge of reading the New Testament in forty days. Will you join us? Today’s reading is Matthew 8-12.

4 thoughts on “It Sounds Like Love and Feels Like Courage {#LentChallenge}

  1. This is good. Thank you. I especially like the “mercy that sounds like love and feels like courage.” I have been drawn lately to this verse: “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings,” (Is 51:7).

    • Jasona, Thank you for sharing that verse with me. Sometimes it seems like a verse was written just for you…today I needed to be reminded of Is 51:7.

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