Take Courage

Dear One,

The other morning amidst waves of grief, I found myself relating to the Apostle Paul on a boat in a storm-swept sea (Acts 27):

  • Confined with other stressed out people.
  • Being blown off course by a wicked & relentless storm.
  • Living in constant suspense.
  • Not able to find my footing. 
  • Watching so much succumb to wind and wave. Even throwing some of it overboard with my own 2 hands because I simply have to lighten the load if I am to survive this one.

So much loss. So little control. So much unknown. So unable to get where any of us were meant to be. Rerouted by the relentless.

And then – finally and a little too late if you ask me – an angel arriving in dark night. 

The deliverance Paul was waiting for! 

Or not.

Unlike previous angel rescues, this One didn’t get him out of anywhere.
Just stood with Paul in the middle of it all. 

  • Didn’t calm the winds.
  • Didn’t still the waves.
  • Didn’t return all Paul had lost.
  • Didn’t fly him off to his intended destination or patch the boat or quiet all the fussing, fearful shipmates. 

Just stood there with him and said what angels say, “Do not be afraid.”

Somehow this was enough because the next morning Paul was passing the message to all those sharing his chaotic confinement. 

“Take courage!” he said, as he told them about the angel. 
“Take courage!”

And I’m sitting here thinking, I don’t want to take courage.
I want to take control!

I don’t want to take courage.

  • I’d rather take all that slipped into the sea.
  • I’d rather take calmer winds & waves.
  • I’d rather take getting to my destination.

But here it is, friend:
When you can’t take control, take courage.

These folks on the boat, they were going to wreck. Complete loss. Everything all broken apart. And it was cold and rainy and they were soaked to the bone when they finally got to shore (barely with their lives) at which point … can you imagine? … Paul got bit by a poisonous snake, and I’m thinking, Really God?!?

Rerouted, delayed, emptied, exhausted.
Courage is not what I want – what I want is for this madness to end.
What I want is all my stuff back (and my people, please!).
What I want is to get where I was going – smooth sailing to my destination.

Friend, our plans to move to D.C. next month to serve as hosts at the International Guest House are now all up in the air. I feel like this Covid-19 storm is taking us away from our destination and honestly, I’m hopping mad and stunned and bottomed-out and the grief runs deep as the winds blow us the wrong direction and I feel powerless against it all.

When you can’t take control, take courage.

Take courage. Do not yield to your fear!

Some of you have heard me speak about my favorite Greek word: THARSEI.  Do you hear it here? Tharsei speaks of being bolstered from within – of God infusing His strength into us resulting in unflinching courage. 


Yes. I’d say I’m in need of that!!

Loved One, when you can’t take control, take courage, our Little Life Words of the week. 



  • What has this Covid-19 storm taken from you? It’s okay to name your losses.
  • What do you need to hear the angel say to you? What do you wish this Mighty One would do / give?


  • Sit in silence with open hands. Feel control slip from your grip … breathe … let it go. Now feel courage being placed into your emptied hands. The THARSEI kind – Unflinching – Infusing – Bolstering. Take it. Receive it. Breathe it in and be filled with it. What will you do with this gift?



  • Imagine Jesus coming right into the room that confines you just now. It’s dark night and you are SO done. What happens? What unfolds? Can you move toward Him? What do you want to say or do?

by: Jenny Gehman

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