June 9 Reflections

She was hesitant, almost fearful as she began to share her story of being abused as a young girl. Tears flowed as she spoke of the physical and sexual abuse in her home of origin; at times wondering if she was going to be accidentally killed in fits of rage and anger. The mental, emotional and spiritual pain coupled with the physical hurt, betrayal of trust and absolute fear often would lead her to thoughts and plans for taking her own life. Really, who would care? She had buried it for so many years, but finally could not hide it any longer. If healing was going to happen in her soul and relationships, she needed to tell her story, first by writing it out and then beginning very selectively to share it with a few. To start this journey of healing took an incredible amount of bravery, that began with the courage to process and explore the story of her life.
Courage. We talk about it. We see it in others at times. We admire it. But what does it look like for you and me to have courage to face our fears? On Sunday we will look in more detail of the story of Peter and John in Acts 4 as they stand before all the religious leaders being questioned. These are the same religious leaders they were fearful of following the crucifixion of Jesus when they hid behind closed doors. In Acts 4:13 we are told the religious leaders took note of the courage of Peter and John and remembered that they had been with Jesus. I think here is part of the way to have courage to face the hard things of life: spend time with Jesus, who wants to spend time with you first. Solitude, prayer, reflective reading of Scripture, meditation, worship, and grace-filled relationships are all ways to spend time with Jesus, which leads to courage in facing the hard things.
I love this quote from John Wayne, the actor who often played a tough and tender cowboy in movies: “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” In Churches Learning Change when it speaks of courage says, “Do it scared!” Facing fears can only be done knowing that God loves us and will never leave us. We are going to be thinking about this Sunday while being challenged to “saddle up.”  Some passages to read and reflect upon: Acts 4:1`-13; Joshua 1:1-9; Psalm 118:6-9Hebrews 13:5-6.
Grace upon Grace,
Pastor Verlyn