“Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame; don’t be humiliated, for you will not be disgraced.” Isaiah 54:4a CSB
Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 defines shame as, “ A painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or of having done something which injures reputation; or by of that which nature or modesty prompts us to conceal. Shame is particularly excited by the disclosure of actions which, in the view of men, are mean and degrading. Hence it it is often or always manifested by a downcast look or by blushes, called confusion of face.” Shame is painful, it causes us to conceal, it causes us to look down. Humiliation does the same thing, but God is telling us to do the exact opposite in this verse. He’s telling us to hold our head up high, trust in Him, we will not be disgraced. He asking us to believe.
I read a story on the Life is Good blog called Soul Sisters. The article starts with this quote from Maya Angelou, “Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage means we face our fears. We are able to say, “I have fallen, but I will get up.” -Maya Angelou. The story the article unfolds is about Berta. She was 28 years old, skiing in Vermont when she had a tragic accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. She was told she would never walk again. She instructed all visitors, “I don’t want anyone coming in sad for me. I need laughs, not tears.” Berta underwent a risky surgery 6 weeks after her accident which was successful. But she had to relearn everything, from rolling over and crawling to walking. She refused to look down, she kept looking up, no matter what her circumstances. Berta focused on the good. As a result, she learned to walk again, she learned to bicycle and she got a job working with others who had similar hardships, helping them regain their lives.
Berta’s key to recovery was BELIEF. Her words describe it better than mine ever could. “I have a lot of setbacks,” she says, “but I try to look at them as things that may ruin my hour, but not my day, or my week. Put ‘em in the rear view mirror and keep looking forward. When that first doctor way back told me I was unlikely to walk, I swore at him in my head. I immediately thought of people who walk and run marathons after they’re told that. You can’t always believe one doctor or one medical report. I always feel like there are options, possibilities, even when you don’t know what they are. You just have to be open to them. I know I’m lucky, but I do believe the first thing you can do for yourself is believe.”
Let’s start today believing with God, all things are possible (Romans 8:28). God has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). No matter what situation you’re facing today, God has the solution. Don’t let shame, humiliation, or anything else stop you from moving forward with God today. Believe!