The party aboard ship was in full swing. Speeches were being made by the captain, the crew, and the guests enjoying the week-long voyage. Sitting at the head table was a seventy-year-old man who, somewhat embarrassed, was doing his best to accept the praise being poured on him.
Earlier that morning a young woman had apparently fallen overboard, and within seconds, this elderly gentleman was in the cold, dark waters at her side. The woman was rescued, and the elderly man became an instant hero.
When time finally came for the brave passenger to speak, the stateroom fell into a hush as he rose from his chair. He went to the microphone and, in what was probably the shortest “hero’s” speech ever offered, spoke these stirring words: “I just want to know one thing, WHO PUSHED ME?” – Ted Engstrom
Courage is like that. Sometimes, we quickly act on instinct and the situation is resolved. Sometimes, we slowly pray our way through the details and then act with a committed heart. Sometimes, we are just nudged in the right direction and our courage shows through.
And still, other times, we are specifically empowered by the Holy Spirit and enabled to do that which normally would have eluded us. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas were empowered to speak boldly for the Lord. Their message was not well received, and the Jewish leaders plotted to kill them.
By the time they got to Lystra, the crowd was totally stirred up and proceeded to stone Paul. They dragged him outside the city and left him for dead: “But after the disciples had gathered around him, [Paul] got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe…” (Acts 14:20).
He got up. He went back into the city. The next day they were right back in the fray! That took courage.
Remember, courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to keep going even while you deal with fear. The old man in our story was not a fire-breathing hero. In point of fact, he was nudged into his “saving behavior.” Still, reluctant or not, he did save the girl.
So this week, let the Lord know that, if necessary, you are ready to be nudged, pushed, or shoved into doing whatever He asks you to do. Listen for the encouragement of the Holy Spirit and be ready to move forward.
Courageous Christians are just ordinary folks who do what they are asked to do. Are you ready to be courageous?
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.