You are the strength of your people; the stronghold where your anointed find salvation. Save your people, and bless Israel your inheritance! Be their shepherd and carry them forever! Psalm 28:8-9 (IP)
"Valiance" does not depend on our own accomplishment but on the stamina of our faith when we feel broken and vulnerable. In the eyes of those who know her and observe how she lives her faith, Kathryn is a valiant woman. In her own eyes, she is a simple, struggling Christian.
Kathryn's husband died after two years of serious breathing problems brought on by a lifetime of tobacco addiction. Through out many difficult days and recurring crises, Kathryn was there for her husband. In his times of elation and depression, Kathryn supported him. They worked side by side in their newly established business venture, and those who knew them saw marital love in action. When her husband could fight no longer and slipped into God's eternity, Kathryn experienced the variegated emotions and traumas of the widowed, too complicated to name.
Just as Kathryn had been there for her husband, Kathryn's community, especially her sister, was there for her in her time of grief. She and her sister took long walks on the beach, where the silence and the soothing rhythm of the ocean provided solace. After one of these therapeutic ventures onto Assateague Island, Kathryn and her sister got into their car and started home along the beach road, only to find their way blocked by a parked van. A bold proclamation painted on the side of van read: "God is able!"
"It was as if that van was there especially for me," Kathryn said. "The words 'God is able' lifted my spirit, and I felt God's strength come into me. And then my sister said, 'This is a public service announcement,' and we both laughed."
God has such a wonderful way of communicating with us through unexpected means- precisely at those moments we need it. Sometimes the surprise of God's technique of revealing the divine presence jolts us to delighted laughter. We are shocked that we forgot that God is here, and God is able! Of course we knew it; we just forgot because of the overwhelming emotion of our life's difficulty. Then, suddenly, we are brought to attention. It is as if God shouts to us: "Hey, I'm here! I can help! I can change things! I love you!"
Hear God say to you: Hey, (your name), I'm here! I can help! I can change things! You may not be able, but I am able! Don't forget! I
love you! In response, turn over to God the things you struggle with right now. God is there for you in this moment!
Call on God as your infinite source of all valiance to make up for the difference in what you need and the shortness of your own supply. Realize that God does not expect you to be brave on your own; that God is with you to supply the bravery you need; that God already knows that you don't have enough patience or love or endurance or whatever it is you need from your own resources. God is there and able-to supply the deficit.
Use the following psalm to praise God as your rock, your fortress, your refuge:
Because you are my rock, my fortress;
and for the sake of your Name, lead me, guide me!
Pull me out of the trap they set for me, for you are my refuge!
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Adonai, God of truth!
Psalm 31:3-5 (IP)
Use the following psalm to thank God for always being there for you:
You changed my despair into a dance
you stripped me of my death shroud and clothed me with joy.
That is why my heart sings to you,
that's why I can't keep silent Adonai, you are my God,
and I will thank you forever!
Psalm 30:11-12 (IP)
Think about the refreshing nature of water as it flows in fountains, rivers, lakes, seas. Feel how water touches something at the core of your being. As you take comfort in the rhythmic motion of water, let these water-lyrics be your prayer:
We come to your water, Fount of life and love. Wash us from all sin; Make us whole!
We come to your fountain, Living water's source.
Let us drink our fill; Quench our thirst!
Take a prayer-walk today. If you live near a beach, you might find the sand under your feet and the sound of waves lead you to an awareness of God's presence in all things. If you live near mountains, a mountain view can provide the same soothing peace in the sense of God's being there for you. It may be that today is the day you should take a drive to see mountains or a river close to you. Or you can walk in a meadow or along a tree-lined path. Find a way to be with God in a place of natural beauty.
Reflect on these words from the beloved hymn Amazing Grace. Sing this over and over, aloud or in your mind, and let the song sink into your spirit, suffusing you in peace.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home!