May 25, 2020
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"When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him." Exodus 2:3-4 (ESV)
Not so long ago, I realized I was missing something in my life.
It started when my daughters, both social workers, began exposing me to pain-filled situations that I knew very little about. My lack of proximity to hardship kept me from feeling the pain of many in our community.
Spurred by the courage of my daughters, I began breaking out of the comfort of my own social circle, befriending women in my community who've suffered great loss and who needed a trusted friend.
This has not been easy for me. I want to be brave, but still struggle to overcome fear of the unknown.
God's Word is helping me overcome this fear, especially through the story of some women found in Exodus 1 and 2.
If their story were a play, it could look like this:
Act 1: Shiphrah and Puah, two midwives in Egypt, are commanded by Pharaoh to kill all male babies as soon as they are born. Yet the women fear God more than Pharaoh, and they let the babies live.
Act 2: In between labor pains, Shiphrah, Puah and Moses' mother, Jochebed, discuss their options should Jochebed's third child be a boy. In hushed tones, they piece together a plan. How would Jochebed disguise her newly-changed body? Answer questions about her delivery? How long could they keep him a secret?
As they make their plans, they recall God's past faithfulness to help the Hebrews. While creating these God-inspired plans, their confidence in God grows, and their fear of their fierce enemy weakens.
Courage can overcome fear when we rehearse the faithfulness of God.
Act 3: Our key verse is played out: "When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him" (Exodus 2:3-4).
Miriam, Moses' sister, watches the basket-boat float on the Nile. When Pharaoh's daughter calls for the basket to be brought to her, Miriam steps up, a child giving royalty advice on how to take care of the baby.
Was the courage of Shiphrah, Puah and Jochebed contagious? Did it help empower Miriam to step up? I believe it did.
These women show how a ripple effect can take place when one person takes a daring step, and others witness it.
Like these women, I want contagious courage, too ... to step out of my comfort zone and bring change and courage to another. The Lord is helping me reach out to those suffering to try to help lighten their pain. Though we don't all look the same or share the same background, we have the same blood running through our veins. Together, we're being brave, learning and serving together to push past our differences to forge new friendships.
I'm catching on to the courage of brave women who have gone before me. Though at times I feel scared about what I don't know and have yet to learn, Jesus' love is empowering me to take one small step at a time.
As my daughters have inspired me, can I inspire you to be courageous in your world today as well?
Step out to notice someone who needs a loving touch.
Invest in your community, and share the love of Jesus that you've experienced. If we step out in faith like these women, the Lord will help us to step into and be a part of contagious courage.
Dear Lord, just as the world of the women of Exodus needed change, ours needs it too. Show me one courageous step I can take, and help me encourage another to do the same. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 3:26, "For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught." (ESV)
We all want to live free. But true freedom is only found in Christ. We are excited to kick off our next First 5 study, Galatians: How Jesus Invites Us to Live Free on June 15! In this study, we will work through the book of Galatians verse-by-verse each day. We'll dig deep and learn about what it means to live free in Christ. Find out what Jesus has freed you from and what He has freed you to.
God's Word is full of women who faced uncomfortable situations and needed God's courage - women from whom we can learn so much. Click here to purchase Lynn Cowell's study for women about women: Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures.
Being courageous ... it sounds good but can be very hard to do! Download this beautiful printable to remind you to move forward in the strength of the Lord. Print it out for yourself or a friend, sister or neighbor. Click here to get yours!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Today in the United States, it's Memorial Day, a day we honor those who've shown the utmost courage - those who've lost their lives defending freedom and their country. Whose courage inspires you? If they're still living, find a way to say thank you (with a text, a note or a phone call).
Courage is not a feeling; it's the strength to move forward, even in the face of fear. What's one area in your life where you need courage, and where could you encourage someone else to be courageous? Share your ideas with us!
© 2020 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.