Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Be Strong and Courageous

Marsh Glory, Beverly Varnado

As I’ve written here before, I try to read the Bible through every year-ish. I get behind though and spend the first week of the new year catching up. On the day dedicated to historical scriptural readings, I kept coming across the same phrase in Moses’ instruction to the Israelites, “Be strong and courageous . . . “ We see that phrase again when the Lord exhorts Joshua.

In what ways are we being courageous? It’s a good question to ask ourselves as we face the new year. As we reflect on the year past, one answer to that question for all of us is that we are living through a pandemic. That has taken a good bit of strength and courage to get through.

But individually, what ways are we bravely stepping into the future?

Creatively, I know the ways I’m holding back. For example, I really need to make some of the dozens of small studies I’ve done this year available (Like the one above), because if I don’t, we’re going to have to pitch a tent in the back yard. Storage is becoming an issue. I have a tough time letting go. I posted a few on my Etsy store over a week ago, but didn't post on social media about them. The artists I know who are doing a good job with their work often post their paintings.

Also, I’ve finished another book, but still haven’t submitted it, because it’s in a different genre than I’ve written before. I love the story so much; rejection would be hard.

And, as far as this blog, other writers get more success posting directly to social media rather than just posting a link. Links get shuffled to the bottom of the feed. I’ve hesitated to do that because it’s like walking into a crowded room and saying, “Hey, look at this!!” My introverted self chafes at the thought. And yet, it’s not about me. The reason I do all of this is for the glory of God. A well-known primitive artist once wrote that she knew God was calling her to paint and in response she said, “I don’t want to be famous.” She says God spoke to her heart and said, “Yes, but I do.”

If you struggle with this too, here are a few of the messages that may be in our heads that hold us back:

                You’re not old enough.

                You’re too old.

                You don’t have enough experience.

                You’ve never done that before.

                You will be rejected.

                You’re not qualified.

                You don’t have enough time.

                What you’ve done is not good enough, not good enough, not good enough, ad nauseum.

                And sometimes even—you’re not enough.

In truth, our age, our experience, our past, our fear of rejection, our qualifications, our time limitations, and our perfectionism cannot, should not, must not limit what God would want to do through us.

And as for the “You’re not good enough” message. That’s simply a lie from the enemy and needs to be recognized as such.

So, if, like me, you have a bit of a chicken liver stripe, let’s allow the words the Lord spoke through Moses to speak afresh to our hearts:


And then let’s go forward with these words on our lips, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Here's to all the wonders God might do!

Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is available wherever books are sold.  Also consider her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2022


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