The more of life that I experience, the more I value courage. I don't mean fire fighter type courage, or the kind of courage it takes for a soldier to take up arms in the defence of his countrymen, although I do not want to belittle that courage either! I'm talking about the kinds of courage that make us do things we're not used to, to take risks in faith and actively receive the gifts that God gives us. I fully believe that God works in our lives, providing opportunities and ways for us to improve. The catch is that we need to have the courage to say 'this IS a gift from God, and although I think there could be problems, I don't see the bigger picture. He does and I need to trust that this is what I must do.' Courage, I think, is faith put into action; the best kind of faith.
I would be remiss without quoting C.S. Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”
I think that sums it up quite nicely.
I don't usually include testimony, but I truly believe that so far 2015 has seen a bounty of gifts and these things deserve praise and exclamation. There is some significant work that needs to be done on our ageing house and I was having trouble figuring out how to pay for it all. The solution arose that we could use equity in our home when we renewed our mortgage. The timing was perfect as our mortgage was due for renewal; we wouldn't suffer any penalties for renewing early. This catch: our payments would increase, no small thing when our budget was tight to begin with. But we went with it, saying 'things will work out'.
Almost out of the blue I was offered a different job (I'd given the company a resume four months previous and had forgotten about it) with a large pay increase, more than covering the extra costs of the new mortgage. It's a great opportunity, a great company and a great place to advance my career. the Catch: it's way across town far from bus stops and we would have to find another car. I took the job saying 'things will work out.'
I found an excellent car last night, a 2008 VW with extremely low KM; it's almost new and so long as the financing comes through, we will probably buy it. The payments are within what I think we can afford and there will probably be a 90 day no payment option that we can take advantage of, just enough time for me to get past my probation period with the new job.
I'm very excited to see what is in store for us next, I can't believe that this is the end of our blessings and all I really want is the courage to take these gifts given us and make good use of them. I realize I'm posting this in a public forum, and that it might be seen as less than helpful in terms of advice, so I will leave with what I think I have learned.
Do not be wary of gifts. Do not be wary or cynical. If it appears to be good and wholesome, it is an opportunity heaven sent. Do not find the small faults that might lead to excuses, these gifts ARE free, even if they don't look like it now, God will not present you with an opportunity only to withdraw all support later to see you fail, He wants you to succeed. That our mortal comprehension can't see past the now shouldn't let us influence the decision in the least. Be courageous, be bold and live the life God desires for you. Receive His gifts in confidence, knowing that his bounty will continue and that success is all but assured if you should only accept.
John, The Writer.