Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her (Miriam), ‘Go.’ And the maid (Miriam) went and called the child’s (Moses) mother.”
Exodus 2: 8
King James Version
“Miriam – A Woman of Confidence”
“Confidence is a plant of slow growth.”
What does the word “confidence” mean to me?
What or who gives me “confidence” in my life?
“Sometimes we get unduly elated when things go well, and at other times we are too dejected when they go badly; what we need is to establish our hearts firmly in God’s strength, and struggle as best we can to place all our confidence and hope in Him; in this way we shall be like Him, as far as is possibility, even in His unchanging rest and His stability.”
Jordan of Saxony
“Nobody holds a good opinion of a man (or woman) who has a low opinion of himself (or herself).”
When I was in my early teens, kids at school called me a “wall-flower.” I was so painfully shy, it was easy for me to withdraw into a world of books where I could be alone and away from the fear that paralyzed me whenever I was put into an unknown situation. If you were looking for a person that exuded confidence – don’t look my way.
However, something drastic changed when I went off to college and entered nurse’s training. Slowly over time, my confidence level began to increase. As my nursing instructors complimented my work ethic and as patients began to request me, by name, to be their nurse, I gained confidence in my ability as a capable person.
In my final year of nursing, we were informed that once each week, on Friday mornings, we were going to have a special instructor come and teach us. At the first class it didn’t take long for all of us to get the drift that what we were going to be learning were lessons on “charm.”
Now I am really giving away my age for “charm classes” aren’t a big thing in this day and age. When I asked my nieces if they had ever heard of “charm classes” they rolled their eyes and said, “charm what?”
But when I was growing up, classes on teaching girls to be well-mannered ladies were very popular. And so, as young, future nurses, we were enlightened by a professional teacher on the finer things of life and were told how to conduct ourselves as proper young women.
While there may be a lot from that class I forgot, I do remember what the instructor told us our first day: “When you go into a patient’s room, walk in with confidence. Introduce yourself by name. Even if you are fearful or unsure, never let your patient know. You are their nurse and you must be confident in your ability to take care of them.”
This was some of the best advice I was ever given because I soon learned that a serene and confident demeanor put my patients at ease. They responded much more calmly when treated with quiet confidence.
As our first quote today says: “Confidence is a plant of slow growth,” and I can personally attest to the truth of this statement. I wasn’t confident overnight, but as I gained the ability to properly perform the skills of a nurse, my confidence increased.
When we first meet Miriam, we find a young girl who was cultivating a garden filled with confidence. As Moses’ older sister, this young girl, at an early age, knew that the consequences of Pharaoh’s soldiers finding a baby boy could be devastating. There was no way Miriam wanted her little brother to die in the Nile River.
With the confidence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob firmly planted in her heart, she boldly walked up to the princess of Egypt and in a clear tone offered a plan to solve the princess’s dilemma. Taught at a young age that her God was dependable and faithful – even the young girl, Miriam, could stand with confidence before the powerful in her nation and never wither or flinch.
Martin Luther, one of the leaders of the Protestant reformation, found himself, many times, in situations where he had to place all his confidence in God. Here is how he describes the confidence he had:
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man (or woman) would stake (her) life on it a thousand times. This confidence in God’s grace and knowledge of it makes (women) glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all His creatures – hence a (woman) is ready and glad, without compulsion, to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything, in love and praise of God.”
This is the kind of confidence I want to have, don’t you? Confident because of the God in whom we put our faith, trust, and reliance!
“Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust (confidence!)”
Psalm 16: 1
King James Version
“You, Lord, are all that I have, and You give me all that I need; my future is in Your hands. How wonderful are Your gifts to me; how good they are.
I bless You, Lord, because You guide me. In the night also You instruct my heart. I am constantly aware of Your presence; and, knowing that You are near, I cannot be shaken from my faith.
So my soul is joyful, and I feel completely secure, under Your protection, I am confident that You shall never abandon me. You show me the path of life, which leads to eternal bliss.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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