Two women huddled together after receiving the king of Egypt’s command to kill all the Hebrew boys as soon as they were born. Risking their own lives, Shiphrah and Puah delivered the babies anyway, lied to the king, and let the new generation of God’s people live.
If you’ve never heard of Shiphrah and Puah, don’t worry; you’re not alone. They were two midwives. Friends too, I imagine. Ordinary women like you and me. But a slice of their story is recorded in the Greatest Story because of the way they trusted God together and acted in faith.
Their courage made all the difference.
This is what I can’t get out of my head as I think about this new year, as I think about (in)courage. What if living as women of courage is what makes all the difference? What if there is something at stake, something that might be gained or lost by our willingness to lean into God’s plan no matter the cost?
Last year when I stepped into the role of community manager, we pressed our ear to the Lord and heard Him calling us into a new season for (in)courage. The vision that emerged has been stirring a fire in my bones all over again.
This is our vision statement: We will be empowered by the strength Jesus gives to be women of courage and live out our calling as God’s daughters.
Friends, this is our year to lean into our call to courage!
Like Shiphrah and Puah, we are ordinary women with an extraordinary opportunity to make this one life we’ve been given count. Not that we’re striving for some big moment, but we’re faithfully striding (or stumbling) along, day by day, minute by minute, in step with Jesus so that when He asks us to go, move, leap, we will have the courage to do so. We will have courage because we know His voice and trust His heart.
If we want to walk in cadence with Christ, if we want God’s Spirit to fill us and His strength to empower us, something is required of us. I’m seeing with fresh eyes that the answer is courage. When push comes to shove and we have to make the hard call, when our faith is on the line and we have to believe God’s promises or not, what will we do? Who will we be? I can only hope we resemble our sisters Shiphrah and Puah.
We’re ten years into the history of (in)courage, but in so many ways I feel like we’re just at the beginning of the story God is writing.
Just this week I was reading in Matthew 9 about the woman who suffered from bleeding for twelve years. I knew the story well . . . so I thought. I knew that she pushed through a crowd and reached out her hand to touch but the hem of Jesus’ garment. I knew she was healed. But I didn’t recall the first thing Jesus said to her.
Jesus turned and saw her, “Have courage, daughter,” he said. “Your faith has saved you.”
Matthew 9:22 (CSB)
Her disease was gone! Her chronic suffering was over. What did she need courage for now?
Maybe Jesus meant, Have courage and know that I am who I say I am, I see you, and I am for you. Maybe He knew it would take courage for her to proclaim God’s work in her life in the face of skeptics and doubters. Maybe “have courage” was the banner He wanted her to walk out the rest of her days under. Let your saving faith in the one true, almighty, powerful God empower you with courage, daughter!
Maybe Jesus’ words to an ordinary woman with a history of hardships and hurts are exactly His words for us today. Have courage.
We’re declaring 2019 our Women of Courage year!
On the best days, the worst days, on the in-between, ordinary days, this is our resolve:
We will be empowered by the strength Jesus gives to be women of courage and live out our calling as God’s daughters.
Will you join us?
We have a whole lot of hunches, emerging dreams, and unfolding plans about what this call to courage could mean for our community. We’re going to keep pressing our ear to the Lord and take it one step at a time in the direction He leads. But we can’t go on this journey without you. We need to know what you want, need, like, and see!
Truly, truly, we want to know what you think! YOU, the women who pull up your chairs to this (in)courage table. We want to know how this resonates with you and how we can serve you better.
We’ve put together an (in)courage Community Survey to make it easy for you to tell us!
We’d be so grateful if you took five minutes to give us your honest feedback. As a thank you, every person who completes the survey by February 11 will be entered into a drawing for a $200 DaySpring.com shopping spree! We’ll be choosing FIVE winners!! For real!
We can’t wait to hear from you!
Tell me: What stirs in your heart when you think of “Women of Courage”?
What if living as women of courage is what makes all the difference? @beckykeife asks, today at @incourage: Click To Tweet