Last week, my friend Grace and I decided to attend an in-person church service. It was the first time I had gone to church IN-PERSON since before the pandemic started... Let's just say there were a lot of emotions. First off, I don't currently have any in-person classes or clubs, and I haven't since COVID-19 started. If you know me, you know that I love humans. A lot. All this to say, I gravely miss seeing people and being around people! I'm assuming most people can relate to this. I also really miss going to church every week and worshiping with others. There is something that can be said about being surrounded by others and completely surrendering to the present moment. It's absolutely amazing.
Anyways, Grace and I arrived at the service a little late and ran inside. When we were running to the doors it started pouring... Down pouring. We probably looked a little like wet mops when we walked through the doors, but hey we made it! When we walked inside the worship music had already started so Grace and I quickly found a spot and began worshipping. It wasn't long before another down pouring occurred. We were only 1 song in, and Grace and I were already crying. After the worship music stopped Grace and I just looked at each other and laughed. We knew that the service was going to be great and we knew that it was much needed. The Pastor walked up onto the stage and began talking about courage. The screen ahead read,
"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
This was not the first time I had seen that verse, nor was it the first time I heard someone preach about courage, but the same story told in a different set of circumstances can produce a vastly different response. The Pastor went on to talk about having the courage to face difficult situations, go for what we feel God has called us to do, and overcome hardship. He expressed that courage and faith go hand in hand. We can't have courage or faith if we are still living in fear. It seems obvious and simple, but I think sometimes we can forget to have courage or faith in certain situations, especially if we've never been through those situations before. It's easy to have courage when things are going well, but what happens when things don't go well or a situation is brand new? For me, fear usually creeps, and when that happens faith and courage oftentimes dwindles. That's because fear can fog our vision and make us see the world through a completely different lens. It can cause us to forget how strong we are and allow doubt, worry, and unrest to enter our lives, which just leads to more and more fear. It's not a fun cycle, and courage is not a part of it. As mentioned above, you can't have courage or faith if you are living in fear.
At the service, I realized that I had been drifting through the past few weeks with a lens of fear and not courage. The scary part is I didn't even fully notice it until then. It's probably because I wasn't questioning or observing my thoughts as much as I should've been. Sometimes a situation calls for guidance to get us back to where we need to be. That service did that for me and I am forever grateful for that :)
Questions to ask yourself:
Are you living your life through a lens of fear or courage?
How are your thoughts?
What are you thinking?
Do you have faith in what you're going through right now?
How about faith for the future?
If you realize you are living your life through a lens of fear instead of courage take a second to look at where you are right now. Then reflect on all that you've been through and all the hardships that you've overcome. You've gone through all of that, what makes you think you can't get through this?