1/26/11

The Courage Rock

Hungry for the secret to courage, I listened as Dr. Ed Hindson shared the story of chicken-hearted Gideon. His story came alive at Gideon's Spring in Israel.

Shortly after Christmas, my husband and I toured Israel with Dr. Hindson and Dr. Tim LaHaye ~ two great men of faith, knowledge, and wisdom. The stories of the Bible will never be the same in my mind and heart because of the things I saw and words I heard during that exciting week. But it was at Gideon's Spring that God nailed down a much-needed truth.

As I entered the new year, I chose "courage" as a focus word and goal. So as I listened to the biblical story of Gideon, I listened for some clues to his courage against the enemy. What I heard was not the tale of Gideon's courage, but rather, the story of God's provision in a time of crisis.

God provided victory in the battle not because of Gideon, but in spite of him and his small, weeded-out band of men ~ "lappers," Dr. Hindson called them. God used simple tools - jars, torches, and trumpets to scatter the enemy. But the real power in the battle was God's presence. Judges 7:22 says, "...the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other...."

Several years ago at a Revival Week meeting, I heard Pastor Bill Elliff say, "Everything you need flows from the presence of God." And God was again drilling in that truth: "Everything you need, Dawn, comes from staying near to me and trusting in my presence. My power, My provision, my Peace ~ everything ~ flows from my presence. Your goal is simply to stay aware of my presence, dwell there, rest there, and operate from there."

I wanted some reminder of the message. I saw one of the girls on our tour leaning out over a broad, flat rock in the spring, swishing the water with her hand. (The lower part of the spring is pictured above.) I asked her to pull a rock from the water for me. At this point, my husband rolled his eyes, since I already had a rock from every site we visited in Israel and he wondered about the weight of our luggage going home. But I told him how important this rock would be, and he understood.

So my friend reached for a big rock, but I said, "No, that's not my rock. My rock is over there." She looked at me ~ questioning my sanity, I'm sure ~ but leaned out further over the water to retrieve the designated rock.

I smiled and looked it over. One side was green from the stream's bottom. Then I turned it over. Carved in the rock was a "C."

"Look. Look! There's a "C," I yelled, "a 'C' for courage!" And I told my courage story to everyone in our tour group. God not only spoke to my heart at Gideon's Spring, He also gave me a reminder for my desk back home. Not just a reminder of the day, but a reminder of the lesson.

I understood that courage comes from God's presence; it's not something I can effectively drum up from within. My courage won't last, but I will not be moved or cower in fear if I remember that God is my rock. He is the rock of my salvation, and He is my immovable rock of strength. He is my courage, and He goes with me everywhere.

Has God spoken to you in a profound, unforgettable way about His presence in your life? I'd love to hear your story, too.

4 comments:

Judi said...

Great message on courage. Thanks for sharing it, Dawn. I'd like to post a link to it on my fear blog if you don't mind.

Dawn Wilson said...

Please feel free to share it, Judi. I'd love for others to grow in courage, too.

Sherri Cullison said...

Thank you, Dawn, for sharing how God spoke to you regarding courage. He rescued me from 'the pit of least courage', recognizing still that with His help each day,
I have the ability to reach the sky. The monumental message of His presence is that He is with us and in us always. What a promise of hope to always rest in.

Dawn Wilson said...

May you "reach the sky" every day, Sherri. Praising God with you for the Hope we have in God.