~ Erma Bombeck ~
Ambrose Redmoon once said, "Courage is not the absence of fear, rather it is the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
C.S. Lewis stated that "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."
John Wayne opined that "Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway."
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of good courage…for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you."
There are many quotes about courage. The dictionary defines courage as
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. the heart as the source of emotion.
3. have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.
Pain, fear, danger, criticism…those words all speak to our innermost self. Deep down inside everyone experiences the fear of rejection, the fear of baring your heart and soul to someone and having them not care or laugh or be indifferent to your innermost sharing of self.
Dreams are aspirations, goals, "things" that drive us, that calm us, that excite us, that often are the very things that keep us going when we just want to quit. Dreams are with us for years, often from childhood.
To open our very hearts to someone, to show them the deepest, often times most intensely held parts of us is fear inducing in itself. How do we share such an intimate part of ourselves with someone else? The fear of rejection, of sharing something that you have held on to and strive for with someone who may or may not understand…that's scary. That's nerve wracking. That is part of uncertainty at its greatest and nobody is comfortable with uncertainty. It takes a great deal of knee-knocking courage to share the most fragile parts of ourselves with someone else and some people are so afraid of getting rejected that they never even try so they keep the beauty of their dreams hidden away from the world.
But what if…what if you found someone with whom you could bare your soul to and share your secrets and your dreams with? How priceless is that? What if you could find someone who you could open yourself up to without fear of rejection, reprisal or reproof? What if you shared your innermost dreams with someone and they not only listened but encouraged you and helped you to reach your dreams?
I think that we all yearn for someone to be able to turn to and feel the absolute comfort of knowing that we are accepted as we are, that we are appreciated and that we are loved…that none of our dreams are thought of as flawed or faulty or unreachable. If we find that in real life with someone, be it a close friend or a significant other, then we are blessed indeed.
But, even if we never find someone with whom we are completely able to let go with and share with; even if we can never quite muster up enough courage to speak our dreams out loud to someone else, we still have a heavenly cheering section behind us all the way. With our Risen Savior, we never have to be scared that we will be rejected, we never have to experience the nerve wracking, knee-knocking courage of putting ourselves out on that limb, worried that it might break off beneath us, leaving us in a free-fall with nobody below to catch us.
Jesus will always be there to listen, always be there to care, always be there to encourage our dreams – provided they are in line with His will – and always be there to catch us. We never need fear Him. He will never reject us.
1John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
If we are in line with God's will, if we abide in that perfect love, then we have no reason to fear anything ever. God will give us all the courage and strength that we need in life to live it to the fullest and share with others the beauty of our dreams that are inside each and every one of us.