Does anyone else love fairytales? I know I do. I grew up on the classics: Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. The stories seemed pretty similar to me. Simple yet beautiful young girl faces some kind of hardship, meets the prince, falls in love, something gets in their way, then it is the prince to the rescue. Earlier this year a new version of Cinderella hit the theaters and I saw it no less than four times before promptly pre-ordering it online. It was 20 years after I had originally watched it, and it shook me in a way I wasn’t expecting.
There is something inside of me that desires to be romanced, swept off my feet, chosen, and made special. I’m hardwired that way, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you were, too. Our God is the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, and He is the ultimate romancer of our heart. While I swooned for Prince Charming I was reminded how blessed we are to have the God of the Universe looking at us the way he looked at Cinderella.
But that wasn’t the only part of this movie that stuck out to me. Cinderella is given a piece of advice by her mother early in the film and it has resonated with me ever since: “Have courage and be kind.” Five words that wrecked my soul. Five words that could change the world.
When I came across today’s prompt in the Gratitude Documented Journal, I knew it was the perfect fit. I was also pointed back to a familiar verse in the Old Testament.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV
I also love that this prompt is partnered with Strength, for when our strength comes from the Lord, then we can have courage because He is the one who will sustain us and carry us through. We will have no need to fear or be dismayed, no matter what comes our way (even if it is a wicked stepmother or the strike ofmidnight) because He will remain with us (from the glittering palace to the dusty attic).
Knowing that my identity comes from the Lord and that He is my protector, I am free to run forward into my days and dreams. I can be filled up with His grace and be kind to those around me, even when it isn’t easy. Saturating my days in scripture (and the scriptures in paint) has been one of the most impactful parts of my journey with the Lord this year. He’s writing my story and this is certainly part of it.
I encourage you, friends, sit in Joshua 1:9 for a while. Lean into Him, reveal your fears, and ask for His strength. He will remain with you through the ups and downs, dancing you through double-door entrances into your calling as well as the dark corners where doubt creeps in. I pray that His word encourage and comfort you today, and may we all remember to have courage and be kind.
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