How to Be Courageous
Actually I not an authority on courage. However, I have been scared a few times. I didn't have a long military career, but I was there long enough to learn some very valuable lessons. For instance, in Basic Training they took us out to the grenade range. Doesn't that sound fun? It does now, but back then I had not developed my... precision throwing arm. As a matter of fact, when I threw the ball it never went where I aimed. As a matter of fact my pitching style was better fitted for T-ball rather than the grenade range. Here we were getting ready to do something that I had not considered when I signed up. The Drill Sergeant informed us that we were not going to throw one, no we were going to get to throw 2 grenades.
At the grenade range, we were ordered to stand with our backs to the wall, then slide down the wall as we made our way, one at a time out of the bunker. Once outside the bunker we were introduced to the hand-grenade. One of the soldiers in front of me said something he thought was funny and the Drill Sergeant grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him away from the wall and then slammed him back against it. Thinking this was a point to make conversation with the Drill Sergeant, I asked, "You really enjoy this don't you? He said, "Private, what I would really enjoy would be going out there, picking you up and putting the little pieces of you in your helmet." If he was trying to scare me, he was quite successful.
Finally, I left the bunker and was lead to another Sergeant who was standing behind a high mound of dirt. He held a hand grenade in each hand. When I took a good look at him, he was scared from head to toe. He had obviously been in battle. As much as I admire and appreciate our troops, I wasn't sure how he got those scars and I wanted a grenade teacher who had never dropped one.
He placed one grenade into my shaking hand. He said pull the pin and bring your hand behind your ear and throw it over the dirt. I listened carefully to what he said. I pulled the pin, brought my hand all the way back behind my ear and threw it as hard as I could. It barely cleared the top of the dirt pile.
The Sergeant was kind enough to offer to throw my second grenade for me. I guess he realized that I had an under- developed throwing arm. I declined because I was experienced now!
What I learned about fear that day was that the most difficult steps are the first ones, the steps when you decide, “I'm going to move forward. I'm going to do this!”
As believers we have an advantage. We have the Lord Himself who goes with us into those frightening situations in life. When God leads us into the valley, sometimes the courage comes only when we take the first step on faith. The courage comes when we say, “Lord you know how I feel and how weak I am, but this step, this first step is a step trusting and believing.”
It's amazing the courage that comes from faith walking.