Yielding to Courage

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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 now, 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 of fear or 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 thought of yielding as something I didn’t want to do. Yield not to temptation. Yield not to despair. Yet God commanded me to give way and merge into strength. I was to permit courage to rule my heart.

Getting swept up into the traffic of anxiety is not only frightening but also dangerous. The speed limit in this continual bumper car lane never slows, and it is every man to himself. Fear and lawlessness have the right of way, leaving love cold and sullen 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 this entrance ramp. In fact, when the Father slows our pace and nothing seems to work, there is a good chance He has led you to the access road of faith. You recognize the pathway to courage by a signal to wait on God and yield only when you see 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 to share the road with hope and peace is worth every mile.