Be of Good Courage

I wanted to title this post: The blessing of the Lord There were certain things I trusted God for to come to fulfilment last month and I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone. I assumed that I would testify about my dreams taking shape and promises coming true. I expected huge miracles!

Initially I wanted to write about all the new things that awaited my family. We were preparing to move into a new house, and I had a second interview for a job I really wanted. The month started with a deep awareness of God’s favour and I felt a sense of momentum and excitement in my Spirit.

But, unfortunately, a few unexpected things occurred that slowly changed my mood and by the third week of the month I was battling to stay encouraged. To make matters worse, I've received an email telling me that I didn’t get the job I really wanted, after a very difficult second interview. It was a massive blow to my self-esteem, especially after working so hard to make my CV look good. It felt as if all my past experience, my education and all the hardships I’ve endured to get to this point counted for nothing in the heartless South African job market. Not only that, but the maintenance of our house were becoming more and more and bills were starting to pile up, which strangely enough detached my heart from the joy I felt after I'd bought a wooden dining table and amazing green couch....

So I’ve decided to change the title of this post to:

BE OF GOOD COURAGE!

Normally when I feel down in the dumps I either watch Oprah or a motivational sport’s movie. It always seems as if the guests on Oprah has it worse off than me, and the courage sports people show when they lose a game always stirs a fighting spirit in me.

Needless to say, I’ve watched the movie “WE ARE MARSHALL” the other day. Most of you might be familiar with the story of a well-known 1971 football team, who died in a horrific plane crash that left the whole town in shock. Seventy eight players were killed. Sons, daughters, fathers, mothers all grieved the loss of their loved ones.

The school decided to continue the football programme, despite the fact that everyone was still grieving and in shock, just to discover the severe disappointment that came from losing almost all their games. But they still continued to play. Some did not understand why the school chose to continue playing football, especially after the game caused such devastation to the town. The new players wondered why they had to push forward, particularly after being defeated by every team they’d ever played against. But a couple of individuals had an unexplainable drive to keep on going, and their courage shaped the future of the school, and gave generations after the 1971 team the privilege to continue playing the game. These few individuals knew and understood that playing the game, for Marshall, meant that they WERE WINNING, it didn’t matter what the scoreboard said.

To be honest with you, while I’m writing this I feel as if I was taken out by a massive, unexpected football tackle. In my mind I can see myself lying on the hard ground, looking at the sky, gasping for air. When glancing over my shoulder, to the scoreboard of life, I see the odds against me. It says that I am far behind on the dreams and goals I have for my life, which makes it difficult to want to continue playing.

But the question is: Will I stand up? Will I continue the game of life? Will I endure the tackles of the unexpected? Will I continue taking hold of the things ahead, even though resistance wants to discourage me? Will I keep on playing, even if the scoreboard of life does not always show success? Will I, like Marshall, keep on winning, by not giving up?

Many times the game of life surprises you with a loss, even after you’ve played your heart out, and gave everything you had. Things sometimes do not turn out the way you’ve expected. Sometimes, you have to face great fears and challenges.

Life seems difficult.

It is in times like these that we as followers of God need courage. Courage does not always mean the absence of fear, or the absence of challenges. It does not mean that we won’t get hurt or sad. It also does not mean that when we play the game of life, that things will turn out the way we’ve expected. Disappointment can be brutal. Fear can be paralysing.

I wish I could be one of those people who get up quickly, pretending as if the horrible tackle never happened. But, I do not always react the way I should during injury time. Many times I want to cover my head with the duvet, shut my eyes and wait for the moment to pass. It is much easier to disengage, give up and sit on the bench as a spectator.

So the questions still remain , while I’m lying on the ground, trying to recover from the massive disappointment tackle:

Will I stand up? Will I continue the game of life? Will I endure the tackles of the unexpected?

Hmmmmm????

Good question......

Will I?

Some doubt it...

Even I question myself...

The shock is great. The temptation is huge to not continue playing....to call TIME-OUT on my career as a Kingdom player....

Hmmmmm????

Will I?

The pain of disappointment hurts; the fear of the unexpected seems overwhelming. I don’t want to get up....and don’t want to be hurt again....I don’t want to go for another interview...I don’t want to continue trusting God....I don’t want to feel worthless....

BUT suddenly...something interrupts my negative and disempowering thoughts...... A noise.... Can you hear it? Can you see the cloud of witnesses surrounding me? Can you hear them cheering me on?

Can you hear them in the background encouraging me with enthusiasm: “Lay aside the weight of disappointment, Laetitia! GET UP!!! Do not let the sin of self-pity ensnare you! GET UP!!! RUN Laetitia RUN! Run with endurance, play the game of life... ENDURE!!! Do not give up on faith! Do not become weary and discouraged in your soul! Finish the game of life! You are part of a Kingdom team that will not be shaken! TAKE COURAGE! GET UP! (Heb 12:1-4)

I start considering my team members....those who have spoken the Word of God to me, those whose faith followed, those whose conduct is victorious... (Heb 13:7).

And I take courage.

While lying on the ground, I think of all my friends and the struggles they went through.......

Most of them couldn’t have done it without knowing the Captain of the Kingdom team, who always guarantees all His team members’ victory in all circumstances, because of the price He has paid.

In my pain, my thoughts drift to Jesus Christ, the captain, the Author and Finisher of the Kingdom Team’s faith, and all He has been through....the tackles He endured, the injuries He overcame.....(Heb12:2)

It is hard to actually write about His journey. I don’t even think I sometimes know what He has been through. He wanted his team to be victorious every time, so He decided to pay the price.

He won the ultimate award, OUR REDEMPTION! He endured the ultimate tackle, HELL! He chose to make the ultimate sacrifice for His team, THE CROSS. He came to earth to love us, to give us life, to give us help when we experience the harshness of disappointment and the symptoms of fear. He played the most difficult final, and guaranteed us countless bonus points, HEAVEN.

And because of His outstanding contribution as Captain and “player of the series” the scoreboard will once and for all show that the Kingdom team will be undefeated forever, because Christ guaranteed ETERNAL VICTORY of all games of life!

The tackles I experience are only a fraction of what Christ endured, and still endures. Every day He decides to continue loving, continue hoping, and continue enduring heartache. Some days it must feel brutal, to know that some of His children does not always love Him back, even rejects Him. But He continues having faith....against all odds!

I think of Him and all the pain He has endured.....

And slowly but surely I open my eyes one by one. I start moving my feet and lifting my head....

The crowd gets on their feet, looking in my direction with expectancy....holding their breath...

Will I?

I look around me and see my Captain, Jesus Christ.

Will I?

He smiles at me and winks, and suddenly I feel relieved. Deep down inside I know, everything is going to be all right.

He offers me His hand....and pulls me up out of my despair

I’m on my feet, confident, ready to play again I jump up and down, make a few boxing movements in the air, and make a bow.... The crowd goes crazy Team members cheer They are all ecstatic! Laetitia King took courage! She is on her feet.

She is back in the game!!!!

Bring on the next tackle.....nothing will keep her on the ground! Not even disappointment!

Victory is hers!

Another woman of wisdom chose courage!

Ps 27:13,14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart Wait, I say, on the Lord

About the Author: Laetitia King is a wife, blogger, teacher and Communication Manager. She has a passion to see Jesus encourage and uplift people. Her heart is for women to see their true value, the way God created them to be. You can find her on the web at http://www.awomanofwisdom.blogspot.com