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Courage is Everywhere

The wind changed, beginning to blow hard and fast. As seasoned fishermen, it was nothing new. The Sea of Galilee was well known for its volatile weather. However, they usually fished during the day and the darkness of the early morning was unnerving to them. In an instant, the wind began to blow more fiercely, and the fisherman were fighting with the oars to keep the boat from overturning. Fearing for their lives they cried out for mercy from their God.

Suddenly, they sighted an apparition walking by them. If it was possible, more fear gripped them. Yet Peter recognized it as Jesus and called out to him.

“Don’t be afraid. It’s me. I’ve got this. I am with you.” Jesus replied to them. Immediately the winds quieted, and the boat settled in the water.

Peter, ever inquisitive, asked Jesus if he could go out onto the water with him. Mind you, the people of that time believed the waters held all sorts of evil. It was known as the Abyss where the demons lived. But Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, in fact, Peter wanted to be just like Jesus. So he swallowed his fear and went out of the boat after Jesus beckoned him to come. Then, he too, walked on water.

But he got distracted and, realizing what he was doing, fear took over. He began to sink.

Jesus reached out to him and grabbed his hand saving him. “Oh, Peter why did you doubt yourself? You were doing fine. And I’m right here with you.” Then Jesus helped him back into the boat.

Peter showed us in this one story the battle between courage and fear.

Courage.

We envision people on the battlefield fighting, saving each other. We think courage is the heroic deeds posted on Facebook. Yes, they are! But courage is often… not outwardly visible. Courage sometimes is the private battle within us. We see Peter from this story, which is told in Matthew 14 and Mark 6, wanting very much to be like Jesus, to be with Jesus, and succeeding for a moment. But then doubts about his ability come in and fear of the Abyss overcomes him, and he sinks. Jesus steps in to reassure him that he is with Peter, and not to be distracted by circumstances.

But courage is often not outwardly visible. Courage sometimes is the private battle within us. ~Rebecca Montie Preston

Courage is not being afraid. Courage is moving forward with fear on your coattails.

I see courage every day in the lives of people I encounter.

Courage is everywhere, if we look for it.

I’ve seen courage in the woman who doubts she’s a good mother. Yet shows up every day to care for her children.

I realize the courage in the person who struggles with depression and/or anxiety, who gets out of bed most days, and actively seeks the help they need.

I recognize the courage of a woman who has been abused and stands up to her abuser.

I see courage in the individual who needs to make difficult decisions and does, despite the flack he gets over making them.

I spot the courage in the little boy who stands in front of an audience scared to death, but does not leave the stage.

I know the courage of a man working hard for his family to make ends meet.

I applaud the courage of parents who care for their special needs children with humor and grace.

I understand the courage needed when rejection has harmed a person’s soul.

Certainly, none of these are exclusive to gender. And some of us are more prone to fear than others.

But courage is not exclusive.

There are many heroes amongst us who often go unrecognized.

I want them to know I see their courage, and I identify with their struggles with fear and courage, because I, too, am often afraid. But even more importantly, Jesus sees our battles with fear and recognizes the courage it takes to move forward.

I don’t mean to be overly simplistic. But Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. He supports the courage that requires so much of us, even if it is fleeting. He is rooting for us just as he did with Peter. He grabs our hands and helps us get up. I find comfort in the story of Peter, who I can so often identify with.

How many times is the term “fear not” in the Bible? I don’t really know if it is true or not, but It is said there are over 365 verses with this phrase. One for every day of the year. Jesus knew our proclivity to fear and told us to “fear not”, often with the addition “For I am with you.”

Peter’s story is our story: The battle with fear. We are not alone with it. Jesus is with us.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9 {NIV}

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
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Rebecca Montie Preston

Loyal wife. Empathetic mom of 2. Permissive Nana to nearly 7. Caregiver to a variety of wile pets. Hopeful pessimist. Smasher of false narratives. Mystic wanabee. Gardener extraordinaire. Tolerable creative artist. Reluctant writer.Loved by God no matter what.
Rebecca Montie Preston
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2 Comments

  1. Sarah Eshleman on January 24, 2019 at 7:56 PM

    Thanks for this reminder. I just love Peter with all his complexity and humanity.

    The older I get, the more I understand how much courage it takes to get up and try again in the morning.

  2. DianeK on March 4, 2019 at 11:36 AM

    ‘Courage is not being afraid. Courage is moving forward with fear on your coattails.’ I just love this reminder to see others as brave knowing not their battles to even get out of bed some days.
    Thanks for the reminder to see the courage that is all around me every day, and to pray for them all to seek after the one who can help them overcome the fear.

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