Inspired by Courage (Esther and Ruth)
If we choose silence and do nothing, we run a greater risk
of failure than if we step out in courage and do something. As we speak up or
act on what we believe to be right, we push open the doors for possible change.
While there are many courageous people in the Bible, I am particularly inspired
by the courage of Esther and Ruth who faced insurmountable challenges and chose
to do the difficult/impossible thing. Both these women have a book in the Bible dedicated to their story.
Esther (full story in the Bible)
Queen Esther could have remained silent and run the risk of death along with the rest of the Jews, or she had the choice of speaking up in the face of pending death to plead for the life of her people—and in doing so save her own.
Her first response was one with which I’m sure we can all relate: “What! Me? How can I do this? I’m going to die!” She felt completely overwhelmed as she looked at the big picture and the impossibility of the situation presented to her. What she did next holds the key to facing our own call to courage.
She didn’t know how to do what was asked of her so she asked the people to pray to God that he would give her a plan.
He did just that and she just had to follow through one step at a time and trust that God would work through the process. She faced the fear of death and ended up saving the lives of her people (and her own) by following God’s plan. God can help us overcome the barriers in our own life when we feel they’re just so big, “we’re going to die!” If we call out to him, he will reveal a plan with steps that we can manage.
In my experience God has done the same thing—given me one step (a small piece) that I can handle, which is a part of a bigger plan. As I move forward in that one step, he opens up the way for the second, third, and on to completion. It is up to me to take the steps as they come to me and trust in the process—God will put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Moving forward without seeing the whole picture can be very frightening. And yet, what is the need of courage if there is no fear? Courage is moving forward IN the fear. This is what Esther did and it inspires me to do the same.
Ruth (full story in the Bible)
Ruth is another woman in the Bible who faced incredible challenges with courage and trust.
Her husband had died and she decided to go to a foreign country with her mother-in-law to start over. She left behind her old comfortable way of life to begin anew—a new way of life and a faith completely unfamiliar to her.
Have you ever felt like you were at a crossroads where you didn’t feel like you could go back to the old way yet were afraid of moving toward a new way? That turning point can feel paralyzing. Ruth’s decision to leave the old behind opened up the way for new experiences which stretched her willingness to trust to its limits.
She was willing, however, to face hard work and humiliation in order to have a better life—she was willing to trust the process and take each step toward the final goal. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to have a better life, to live true to your values, to live with passion? Ruth was willing to give up everything that was comfortable for her in order to embrace a life of faith, of hope, of purpose.
Live with Courage
Whether we are faced with life-or-death challenges (Esther) or the choice to start over in some area of our life where we need to grow and change (Ruth), we can choose to remain silent and do nothing or we can move forward with courage and live a full and purposeful life. God can help us do the impossible if we are willing to take the one step he gives us that is possible. So, I encourage you to face changes and challenges as an opportunity to practice courage! You’re not alone—God will help.