Courage Through Faith
December 10, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV.
Manon Ossevoort has finally made it to the South Pole, and it only took nine years! Manon used a Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor to drive there. I’m wondering when John Deere will step up to the plate here? Because it looks like Massey Ferguson may have the best tractor? Manon is now 38-years-old and a mother of a young daughter. The adventure began in 2005 from her hometown in the Netherlands. She drove the tractor 23,612 miles (38,000 km) from Europe to Cape Town in South Africa, but missed the ship because of delays that would have taken her to Antarctica. Manon then had to wait four years before making the final 1,553 mile (2,500 km) part of the journey across the Antarctica land mass.
Manon’s expedition was named Antarctica2 honoring Sir Edmund Hillary, who made the journey in 1958 on a tractor which had tracks. Manon’s Massey Ferguson has inflated tires. The Antarctic part of the journey was the most difficult traveling 23 hours and sometimes more every day. The seven member team faced -56C temperatures, crevasse fields, solid ice-waves, and altitude sickness. Manon said this after arriving at the South Pole, “Wow! I've made it! To have dreams is beautiful but to see them realized is the most extraordinary feeling. I'm inspired.” She says this about this amazing feat, “Fear holds people back from pursuing their dreams, and many believe that putting them into reality is as impossible as driving a tractor to the South Pole. The tractor for me symbolizes this very down to earth fact that if you want to do something, maybe you will not be so fast but if you keep going and keep your sense of humor you will get there.” Manon is also an actress, which makes me wonder if maybe John Deere can have an actress like Angelina Jolie make a trip down south too? (Orange News 12.10.14; Daily Mail 12.10.14)
What is it that the angel Gabriel told Mary? “For with God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37 NKJV).” It was a tremendous statement of courage that Mary responded with her statement of faith, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word (Luke 1:38 NKJV).” God called Mary to put aside her fears. Just as Manon said, fear does hold back many from pursuing their dreams. God called Mary, and I believe God calls every child of God to put away the fear, and to face life with courage.
When you respond to the call of God, it is not necessarily an easy life that He will lead you through, and it will require endurance as you run the race of life. The call of God for most will be in some ways as challenging and difficult as driving a tractor to the South Pole. We have a choice in life. We can choose to allow the emotion of fear to rule us, or we can choose to act in courage. Fear is an emotion, but courage is an action. We can decide as Mary did to act with courage even though we may be “troubled (Luke 1:29)” by what we are facing.
How can we have the courage to act when the fear of the known and of the unknown is so powerful; even overwhelming at times? We can have courage by having faith. How do we have faith? “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).” Mary responded courageously because of the faith that was instilled in her upon hearing the Word of God spoken by the angel, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” You can have that same faith, because our God has not changed. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV.”