Monday, November 19, 2012

Courage...Gotta Have It

Have you ever thought of the fact that it takes courage to have courage?  Strange sentence, I know, but bear with me.  I need to jot some thoughts and get them straight in my head and the printed word sometimes makes it easier for me to get a handle on things.

So, in ladies bible study we were taking a look at the early church, how it started, the community they built, how the gospel spread. We've come to the part where Saul had a life changing encounter with Jesus and has just got his sight back. We read how he immediately started to preach and teach about Jesus being the Son of God.

-Ananias was instructed by the Lord to go to a certain street and house to see Saul and heal him.  You know the same Saul who had been hunting down & dragging them to prison?  Yeah, that Saul! When Ananias reminded God of that, God still told him to go.  And he did!  Would I have the courage and trust in God that Ananias did and trust in the fact that I had actually heard from God that Ananias did?  Hmmm.

-the believers were afraid to really believe that Saul had changed and they were petrified of him. What would I do if someone who had been hauling my friends before church officials and standing by while they were killed suddenly was trying to attend my church, saying he was saved and changed?  Hmmm.

-Paul's followers lowered him out a hole in the wall in a basket because the gates of the city were being watched for him to leave so those against the gospel could kill him. How gutsy were the ones who lowered him. If they had been found, Paul would have escaped and been running while his helpers would have been left holding the basket, so to speak. Would I have the courage to do something like that? Help someone to the detriment of my own safety? Would I choke in fear?  Hmmm.

-Where is my courage at? Do I believe God really changes people no matter their past? Am I willing to let go of my fears and take bold steps to follow God?  Hmmm.

 Just some questions about courage my mind has been turning over.


Barbara H. said...

I definitely would have had to pray for courage in each of those scenarios. Maybe courage is doing those things anyway and ignoring the butterflies in the stomach.

ellen b. said...

Good questions, Susanne. I was reminded, too, of that line that Corrie Ten Boom says about God giving us the ticket when we need it. I think he'll give us that courage when we most need it, too.

snowbird said...

I think you are right here, it does take courage to have courage.
I had a neighbour, Lotta, she was a wonderful German woman who I was friends with for many years. She always gave huge amounts of money to charities for political prisoners.
When she was 17, she lived in Natzi Germany and saw two of her friends hung on the street for speaking out publicly about the treatment of the Jews. She always carried the guilt of not speaking up even though there was nothing she could do. xxxxx

Susanne said...

Barbara: I think you've defined it well. I don't think courage is a lack of fear but of doing what you know to do in spite of the fear!

Ellen: I love Corrie Ten Boom. What a great example of courage!

Snowbird: Thanks for sharing the story of your friend. That would have taken immense courage. I pray your friend finds peace with that. I know God would not condemn her and would desire to fill her with His peace for the situation!

Karen said...

I agree with Barbara, that courage is when you can act in the face of fear. This is a good post, Susanne, reminding me that it takes courage to lay fear aside and believe that God can change people. I was wrestling with that last night, lying awake trying to figure it out. I started reading this post yesterday, but got sidetracked. I'm so glad I came back to it this morning!

Mom24 said...

Very thought provoking. It's so tempting to fall into the thinking that things were somehow "different" then.

Gattina said...

Difficult to answer this question !

BTW is there no Friday's fave five post ?