At prayer meeting, as a five-year old girl prayed, she spoke of courage.
That exact word.
She prayed it for an elderly woman from our church that broke both her arms this winter. She spent several months in the hospital, had to give up her apartment and is now living in a care home. She used to go for a walk every day. She used to be able to come to church twice on Sunday. She used to cook her own meals and buy her own groceries.
And now, as she faces new places and adjustments, courage seems the perfect thing to pray for.
Courage not just to survive, to grit our teeth and get on with it. But courage to rise with flags flying.
The Bible calls it being more than conquerors in Christ. Courage, because Christ is with us –in us – through us.
It will never look the way we think. Courage is sometimes only found in the quiet places of our hearts. But that is where it begins and does its best work.
Courage to rest. Courage to adjust. Courage to make a home where you didn’t even expect to go.
That’s what the sweet voice prayed for Madam Ida.
And there isn’t a person I know that the prayer for courage couldn’t touch.
Courage for the mom on Monday morning.
Courage for the dad on a long Saturday.
Courage for the single who’s best friend gets married.
Courage for the widow with mice in her house.
Courage for the elders who search for a pastor.
Courage for the too many good byes.
Courage for the pre-operation appointments.
Courage to smile at that one person.
Because with Christ in us, this life and these circumstances are not too great for us to overcome. Really.
And not only to overcome, but in holy, well placed, Christ grounded courage, we find the gift. We find joy.