Being an advocate often requires the courage to step out and do what few others will do. Some of my most rewarding cases as a trial lawyer have been protecting a child—even when I emerged with personal scars after the battle. Courage is a large part of what being an advocate is about. It may surprise you to know my greatest source of courage.
It has little of nothing to do with me.
Jesus was the most courageous advocate who ever lived. His life teaches me about courage. His Spirit empowers me to be courageous. A particular case brought this lesson home for me.
I remember that late afternoon hearing like it was yesterday. As I was driving to court, I knew it would be tough because the small town judge had already made abundantly clear that he held a deep personal disdain for me. It was worse than I had imagined. It still ranks as one of my most terrifying and demeaning experiences in the courtroom. During the proceedings, I was certain the judge was going to throw me in jail. But God had a plan. After the dust settled that day and I could breathe again—there were two things I was certain of: 1) God gave me the courage to overcome my fear and speak the truth on behalf of my young client; and, 2) It was worth it.
I’m very grateful for the experience.
The truth prevailed despite the unjust judge because GOD prevailed that day. What I stood for—justice for a child—was far more important than anything he could have done for me. Standing in the gap between a child and evil, I got to experience the way Jesus lived.
My worst experience was also one of my best.
On my long drive home from court, the words of Moses echoed in my heart, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
On this day, I knew God had given me courage.
The Bible says, “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.” (Psalms 140:12) When we are born again—we are granted God’s courage and our ongoing relationship with Him supplies us with wisdom and enables us to use truth to execute justice. The unjust judge didn’t want to give my young client justice—but he did. God had a plan that evil couldn’t thwart. I don’t know how God did it, and—I don’t need to know. I just want to be part of the more miracles.
The more I know God, the less I am afraid to do what is right. He is more powerful than evil and I know that “neither height, nor depth, nor principality, nor power can separate [me] from the love of God.” (Romans 8:39)
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