Faith, Love, Courage

Faith, Love, Courage

By Dan Johnston

The greatest gifts my mother ever gave me were the gifts of courage and faith.

She had the faith to believe and the courage to act on that belief

Some parents teach their children courage, determination, or any of a number of other virtues by reading to them of the great deeds done by great men and women of the past, in the hope that it will motivate them to find such things on their own.

But not my mother.

It is said that an example speaks louder than a sermon and that a picture is worth a thousand words—and it’s true. Of the “pictures” I have from my childhood, many amaze me when I think back on them. As a single mom of three children doing full-time Christian volunteer work, how did my mom manage to not only raise us, but to do so as we traveled all across the U.S. and to foreign lands?

Like the time our car broke down in the Bighorn Mountains. With no one in sight for miles and an unexpected snow storm settling in, she must have been pretty desperate. Yet what I remember most from that situation is her faith that the Lord would bring us through. And He did.

Where did she find the courage to move our family across the Pacific to Communist China in obedience to the call she received from God?

Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. — Proverbs 31:10,25–26,28,30

And there was the day my older brother Joe got separated from us on a Hong Kong subway. We had only been in the city for two days, and it seemed there was no way he could find his way back to where we were staying. How did Mom manage to not get hysterical? Her prayers and faith paid off; Joe made it home before we did.

Mom knew that it would be difficult at best, and yet she chose to leave her comfortable home for a country she knew little about, with her kids in tow, simply because God told her to share His love with the people there. She had the faith to believe and the courage to act on that belief.

As a young adult and Christian volunteer in Central America, I now face many problems of my own every day. Some are bigger than others, of course, but every time I run into a situation that seems utterly impossible, I remember those moments from my childhood where my mother’s faith and courage shone brightest, and that puts things into perspective. A verse in the Bible says, “With God nothing shall be impossible,” and that sums up the most vivid lesson from my childhood—thanks to my mother, who taught through her example.

Related Posts

Making Things Right, From Jesus

Making Things Right, From Jesus

My Best Friend

My Best Friend

Jesse’s Glove

Jesse’s Glove

Leave a Reply