Are you courageous?

We often think of courage as a single act: running into a burning building to rescue someone, facing the enemy on the battlefield, fighting a bully at school. Most of us, when asked if we think we’re courageous would say no. Most of us haven’t done any of those things. There are many examples of courage in the Bible: Daniel in the lion’s den; David facing the giant Goliath, even Jesus going to the cross.
But sometimes courage is exhibited in ways we don’t notice. I remember when my kids were in swim team. There was a nine-year-old girl on the team, I don’t remember her name now, but she dominated her age group in the freestyle and butterfly. Everyone accepted the fact that she had a great future as a swimmer ahead of her. But somehow, in the next year or so, she was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Her limbs became swollen and misshapen and her stamina decreased. She was unable to compete at the level she was used to. We watched in pity as she valiantly worked out with the team in spite of her pain and stiffness. I had the privilege to watch this little girl’s courage as she entered meet after meet, swimming the only stroke she could manage; the freestyle; and come in dead last every time.
If you look hard, you can see courage in people everywhere. It’s in the parents of a child with autism, who send him off to preschool for the first time. It’s in the man who donates a kidney to a friend so she can stop going to dialysis. It’s in the parents who sit by their son’s bedside while cancer slowly kills him. I see courage in the faces of those around me; the single mom, the unemployed father, the Down ’s syndrome child who competes in the Special Olympics.
Remember the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz? He thought that all he needed was courage, but he discovered that he had it all along.
Am I courageous? Not in the traditional sense of saving people from drowning or running into a burning building to rescue a baby. But I know that when I am faced with insurmountable pressure, tremendous odds of failure, I have a Savior who is behind me, before me, and by my side, cheering me on and keeping me putting one step in front of the next.

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