…take heart daughter, your faith has made you well…Matthew 9:22
If anybody knows me well, they know that the sum total of my athletic ability can be neatly stacked on a pencil eraser! However, there are two “athletic” things I can do; shuffleboard and bean bag toss. Impressive right! Fear is a funny thing and if we aren’t careful it can slip in and steal away our confidence and our courage. I had a chance to play bean bags not long ago and I thought, sure I can do that but the more I thought about it, the more I began to doubt myself and fear making a fool of myself in front of dozens of people so, I declined. I didn’t have the courage to go do something fun that I was kind of good at. I was thinking about that and ran across a great Gospel with a couple of brave courageous disciples.
Courage is a funny thing. The official had it, the hemorrhaging woman had it and they knew what to do with it! Many of us have courage but we’re afraid to use it. Stepping out in an act of complete courage like the official or the woman is risky business. Even blanketed in grief the little girl’s father believed Jesus could bring life to his daughter. He didn’t worry that others would overhear his request and think he was nuts. The hemorrhaging woman knew society deemed her unclean but her faith outweighed her fear and she reached in for healing. Their trust and faith trumped everything, including public ridicule and judgment.
I often pray for courage but I suppose I should also be praying for the strength and trust to use it. Courageous faith might mean change, ridicule or complete and total surrender. The characters in today’s Gospel show us what blessed things can happen if we act with courageous faith. Their trust and surrender yielded amazing results. I need to be inspired by this Gospel to worry less about control and judgment and focus on the abundant blessings that come from living with courageous faith. As I ponder the deeper meaning of this Gospel I have to think bigger than a bean bag game and ask myself, what are the areas of my life that require more courageous faith? What is keeping me from turning those things over with complete courage, surrender and faith to the Father who created me and wants only what’s best for me?
A Seed To Plant: As you sit in prayer this week read Matthew 9:18-26 and add these words to your conversation; Father of grace, please create in me a spirit of courageous faith. Take away my doubt and my desire to control the things in my life and replace them with the courage and conviction of the official and the hemorrhaging woman. Lord, lead me to your blessings as I live out a life of courageous faith.
Blessings on your day!
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