Take Courage

by APC on May 03, 2017

“Do you think he’s in there?” my younger sister nervously questioned. “I don’t know, but why don’t you go in and check. I’ll be right behind you…”

That was the beginning of a familiar conversation my sister and I would share when engaged in a game of hide-and-seek with our father. We never played just any old game of hide-and-seek. It was always one we played in the dark.

When it was our dad’s turn to hide, there was one location of the house he favored more than the others: the basement—especially the utility room. And, for two little girls around the ages of three and four, the basement, the dark basement, was the most terrifying location of the house.

My sister and I were both pretty sure monsters lived in the utility room. Definitely, all the spiders in the basement originated from within. And, on a few occasions, we were convinced a robot resided there, but the evidence has never been secured to support such a theory…

Whatever the case, I do know that neither my sister nor I could muster up the courage to enter the utility room, in the dark, to search for our father. Our tiny feet were fastened by some imaginary glue to the basement floor. But, we’d become miraculously unstuck, and high-tail it back upstairs as soon as we heard my dad bellow his scary “bwah-ha-ha,” out of the deep, dark recesses of that utility room.

Courage—it’s a tricky thing to find when you’re scared, going against the grain, or facing a situation you’ve never encountered before. Courage typically manifests at the opportune time when you’re trying to impress someone, but that was the farthest thing from my mind when playing hide and seek. Survival of the fittest was my motto.

In life, we’ll be presented with countless opportunities requiring us to exemplify a bit of courage. And, I can guarantee you they’ll be much more difficult than stepping into a dark utility room. We’ll be presented with a choice to show courage or to run away.

In Scripture, when Asa became the king of Israel, the Nation was steeped in idolatrous worship. But, God told him to be strong in his work, be faithful to Him, and he would be rewarded (II Chronicles 15:7).

And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altars of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD (II Chronicles 15:8, KJV).

Asa was presented with a choice to change the entire culture/lifestyle of Israel. He could either follow his predecessors, go with the flow, and fail God, or take a stand and live for God. Asa chose to “take courage”—he established himself securely in the Lord and proceeded to destroy everything that displeased God.

Asa didn’t care what anyone else thought. He cast aside his own fears, relied on the courage the Lord provided, and destroyed the idols from the land.

When we seek God for help, He will give us a sure foundation to stand upon, the courage to move forward, and the strength to endure. Regardless of how we feel, or the pressures of the world around us, God will transform our minds. We’ll be able to do something in Him we never thought possible. He will provide the courage that we lack.

Whatever situation you’re facing today, if you lack courage, seek God first. When you get alone with Him, He will provide a Word of encouragement, and you will find yourself with the ability to “take courage,” just as Asa did to go up against your “dark utility room.” Whatever God gives you the courage to face, you will make it through as an overcomer.