By Dot Bowen
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (ESV)
The Amalfi coast lies in the heart of the magnificent Italian coastline in the southwestern region of Campania Italy. The drive along the coast of Amalfi was one of the most beautiful and frightening experiences of my life. My husband Howard drove while my daughter Cara navigated and I enjoyed the scenery. All was well until we saw a car coming toward us. The road was so narrow it was very challenging for two cars to navigate the road at the same time, which made it difficult to enjoy the beautiful ocean on one side and the amazing mountain on the other side. We had been advised the best way to get to our destination was by bus or boat, not by car. However, we ignored the warnings and chose the more difficult way to travel.
This is not the only time in my life I’ve ignored warning signs and set out to experience life on my own terms. Each time, I found myself in a situation that seemed to have no way out—and certainly no way to escape the consequences of a poor decision. When we find ourselves in a place where we can’t move forward with zero chance of erasing the past, we can become gripped with fear of the unknown. Life challenges can feel so overwhelming it can be difficult to dream or imagine a life without pain. Without hope, it’s easy to resign to a life of difficulties and feeling trapped.
We must guard our minds if we are to face each day as women of courage and ignore any thought that doesn’t take into account the power of God. We must face each day with hope in a God who loves us and wants the best for us. We must place our hope in God rather than the lie we can live in this world without trouble and heartache. To face life’s hardships, pain, or challenges with courage, we must accept each circumstance as an opportunity to hold the hand of God and allow Him to be our source of courage.
When I read stories of courageous women in Scripture like Esther, Ruth and Mary, I discover they made the decision to follow God whatever the cost. They had unexplainable power, wisdom, clarity, and an abundant strength to tackle the task set before them. As women of God, we too can face whatever lies ahead by following Christ with an undivided heart and a willingness to accept the life He designed for us.
“Sip” on the following thoughts and questions throughout the week as you seek to follow God whatever the cost:
- Have you ever been determined to experience life on your own terms and ignored advice from others and warning signs around you? Take a moment to think back on that time in your life.
- Is it possible to face life as a woman of courage when each day brings the feeling of entrapment? Take some time to really think about this question. Even if it doesn’t apply to you, perhaps it applies to someone close to you.
- Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear. Courage is bravery.
- Even if you do not feel brave or courageous, the Holy Spirit will help you!
- Read and meditate on the Scripture verses listed below:
- Joshua 1:9
- 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
- Exodus 14:14
- Psalm 56:9
Further Reading 2 Corinthians 4:7-18; Ruth 1-4; Esther 1-10