Finding Courage for the Day

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The first time I saw it was in 1980. Stamped with a singular Chinese character, I recognized its meaning from the triangular yellow sign. “Yield,” I said aloud, pleased with my first translation of the ten-week trip.

Eight years later, I found this same character on a page in my language school textbook. “讓 (ràng) — to let, allow, offer, or permit,” the author explained. “A common word often used in everyday language.”

After months of study, I stumbled upon the character again. This time in my Chinese/English Bible: “Wait on the Lord. Be strong and let (讓 ràng) your heart take courage” (Psalm 27:14). 讓. I’d seen it on the street, in a textbook, and here in the Psalms. 

Then God spoke to me for the first time in Chinese.“Yield your heart to courage, Kandy. You have arrived at the crossroads between fear and fearlessness. Pause for My direction, then merge into the flow of courage. Allow confidence to fill and move you.

Yield my heart to courage? Allow confidence to move me? I’d always considered yielding something I didn’t want to do. Yield not to temptation. Yield not to despair. Yet here, God commanded me to give way and merge into strength. I was to permit courage to rule my heart. 

I am very familiar with getting swept up in the traffic of anxiety. It is not only frightening but also dangerous. The speed limit in this continual bumper car lane never slows and is every man for himself. In this thoroughfare, fear and lawlessness have the right of way, leaving love cold, sullen, and empty on the side of the road (compare Matthew 24:12 and 1 John 4:18).

Despite a society crashing with anxiety, God is reminding us to 讓 our hearts to courage. There is no need to hurry up and speed onto His entrance ramp. We arrive at the access when the Father slows our pace. You will recognize the pathway to courage by God’s signal to wait on Him and yield only to His courage. 

There will always be two thoroughfares: a heavily traversed one of fear and God’s express lane of faith. If you are exhausted and battered by fear, there is a good chance you are on the wrong freeway. Yield at His narrow entrance and pay the toll of seeking His face. The way of courage is a steady incline, but getting off the rat race of fear is worth every ascent.