Rahab. Ruth. Deborah. Jael. Esther. Mary.
Each of these women faced a moment in time when they had to choose faith over fear. Each was alone before her God. Each faced huge physical and emotional consequences for the choices they made. Yet not one of them so much as hesitated. They were all in with what God called them to do. They were and are role models faith, courage, and passion.
Each of these women was shaped by their faith. And for each one of them, that faith was shaped by raw, intimate encounters with the living God. Each woman knew in her heart that God could be trusted. They knew that following God in the face of danger was the only path of safety and hope. This is what produced the courage they displayed.
The lives of these women are best described as courageous. From the quiet trust that Ruth showed in following Naomi, to the boldness of Jael and Esther, courage marked each of them. When faith is clear and undiluted, courage follows.
With this combination of faith and courage, we see the beauty and power of emotion that is connected and driven by loyalty to God. Passion is the force that flows from faith and courage. Each woman showed the value of passion in following God when everything appeared to be falling apart. Read their stories again. They are for each of us; men and women, young and old, rich or poor. These six women represent the faith, courage, and passion that have marked countless women throughout history. We may not know all these great champions of the faith, but we know they have been there loving their God and making it possible for those whose lives they touched to see the beauty of Christ more clearly.
Mary’s response to the angel is one that we should all look at with awe and wonder. After hearing the life-changing, even terrifying words of Gabriel, she responds, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”
This combination of faith, courage, and passion lives on today in women whose lives call us to live for the glory of God. One such woman was my wife, Ruth. When she was diagnosed with stage 4 lethal brain cancer, her response was not one of fear or anxiety. Like Mary and each of the other women above, she only wanted to do what would bring honor to her God. Here are some of her thoughts:
I don’t know how much time I have left in this life. It might be only a short time—or it might be many years. Whichever it is, I’m thinking a lot about how I want to use whatever time is left. I’m asking myself, “What does God want me to do with that time? What will please him the most?” I keep thinking, “I don’t want to waste any of the time he gives me. I want to use it well.”