30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 26

For the past 25 posts, you have read all different takes on courage and encouragement.  Do you see yourself as courageous?

When we think of courage today, we probably think of the Wikipedia definition:

Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

In some traditions, fortitude holds approximately the same meaning as courage.

Aquinas says,

. . . the term “fortitude” can be taken in two ways. First, as simply denoting a certain firmness of mind… Secondly, fortitude may be taken to denote firmness only in bearing and withstanding those things wherein it is most difficult to be firm, namely in certain grave dangers.Wikipedia

enduranceThomas Aquinas holds courage or fortitude as being primarily about endurance.   If you live with lupus or any other autoimmune disease, you most likely are building your “courage” up daily.
Life has adversity.  No one escapes.  Living with autoimmune disease presents even more challenges.  The good news here,  we have a greater opportunity to build up our courage, which will hopefully develop into a greater ability to understand and help others.  Clergyman and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher said “troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.”                                                                                                                                
Roget’s Thesaurus describes fortitude as follows,

The quality of mind enabling one to face danger or hardship resolutely: braveness, bravery, courage, courageousness, dauntlessness, doughtiness, fearlessness, gallantry, gameness, heart, intrepidity, intrepidness, mettle, nerve, pluck, pluckiness, spirit, stoutheartedness, undauntedness, valiance, valiancy, valiantness, valor. Informal spunk, spunkiness. Slang gut (used in plural), gutsiness, moxie.

Do you have more pluck than you did before? More guts to speak up for yourself and others in weakened states?  Do you feel braver having facing traumatic health issues and procedures?  Do you have more courage?  Nick Vujicic from post 9 and post 10  could have committed suicide, but he made a decision to choose a road of fearlessness instead.

Back to Thomas Aquinas.  He thought courage or fortitude was about endurance.  Endurance suggests someone pacing themselves aslong-distance-runner they run a long, sometimes tedious race.   Nick would probably tell you it takes a daily choice, and not just stamina, to succeed.

I am guessing your endurance has grown as you have dealt with the challenges you face.  You are not the same person you were before.  You have more depth, more insight, knowledge and wisdom.

Are you thinking you would have been better off to be healthy and not develop or strengthen these  traits?   Every experience makes us the person we are becoming.  It is the illustration of  the front and back of a tapestry being estherholsenfrontbacklived out in our lives.  We cannot see the beauty now because we see a mess of threads as we see the back side, but one day we will see the front of the tapestry of our lives.  Hopefully, what author William Barclay said will be true for us.  Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.

I pray God will  help you as you grow in courage and endurance.  I am signing off until September.  I hope the next few weeks of summer are blessed for you.

I welcome your comments.  Until next time….Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

2 responses to this post.

  1. You know Leslie, I never really thought about being courageous or having much of an endurance but I guess I do. We have to have these to face Lupus every single day, to face the days that are really bad. It’s easy to have endurance when you are feeling good but harder when you are feeling bad. I think anyone who battles a disease, whatever the disease has a lot of courage and endurance! That is what keeps up going!! Thanks for another awesome post and enjoy your August with your family!!

    Reply

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