Be Strong & Courageous!

be strong and courageous

Be Strong & Courageous!

The late night ring of my phone startled me from a sound sleep. I was alone with our baby daughter in a small, base housing duplex on Hill Air Force Base, UT. About a week earlier, Lee had flown out with his squadron mates for an F-16 training exercise in another state.

This was long before the days of caller ID – and yes this admission makes me feel really old!

I answered the phone with the same sense of trepidation we all feel when we receive calls late at night. But instead of a familiar voice on the other end, my repeated greetings were met with silence and then the sounds of ominous deep breathing. I quickly hung up but the phone rang again and again.

Other squadron wives had been receiving similar phone calls. Someone who had access to the list of deployed pilots spent a lot of time harassing their wives with these annoying late-night calls. He knew our names, where we lived, and how long our husbands would be gone.

I prayed for peace and told myself this guy was harmless, but I couldn’t move past the grip of fear. I called my friend down the street who graciously offered my daughter and I her couch and portable crib for the night. Her husband arrived a few minutes later to pick us up.

Hospitable and kind, my friend had everything ready for us when I arrived, however I could tell by her comments and the look on her face that she thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. Although I was embarrassed and felt like a total wimp – I wouldn’t have traded that peaceful night’s sleep for anything.

However, I knew that sleeping on my friend’s couch was not a viable option for the remainder of Lee’s deployment. Thankfully, as the next day dawned, my heart was filled with the powerful truth of God’s presence and promise found in Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

YES! I’m immensely grateful that my Almighty God is WITH me – in ALL his power at ALL times in ALL my situations! The tangible power and peace of God’s presence silenced my fear that day and I was able to go home … and stay home … for the rest of Lee’s absence.

But you know what I really love about our Lord – it’s that he never judges us in our fear or condemns us when we worry. He doesn’t cross his arms, roll his eyes and shake his head in disgust, wondering when we will finally get it right. He knows how we are and who we are … constantly in need of fresh, powerful pictures of His breath-taking power and personal, intimate care.

I am struggling with fresh fears and worries about the ongoing and never-ending, health issues one of our daughters is facing. But just this morning, tears sprang to my eyes as I found myself in Psalm 18 reading a promise God had given me for this particular daughter six years ago: “I will reach down from on high and pull her out of deep waters … I will rescue her … And bring her into a spacious place … because I delight in her.”

May we have the courage to face down all our fears in the sweet, comforting presence of our Lord who cups our face in His hands and reminds us that there is no need to be controlled by fear because HE is WITH us and FOR us in all His water-walking, mountain-moving, death-defying power!

Thank you Lord! We love you and trust you … wherever we go!