Do you remember the cowardly lion in the movie “The Wizard of Oz?” His character seemed like an oxymoron. I mean who ever heard of a “scardy-cat” lion? He tried to come off like a fierce lion but it was just an act. When he sang out “Well, I am the King of the Forest….,” it was all bluster without the muster. His whole hope was to find courage.
In the movie, the lion has to choose courage before he became courageous. At the end of the movie, he is awarded with the badge of courage by the wizard. The wizard however never gave him courage. Instead, the lion had to go into a situation that required courage and act even though he wanted to run.
I was reading in the Bible this morning about courage. Paul is trying to give others courage (that is what “encourage” really means) on board a prison ship. He is bound for trial in Rome. And yet, he is the one helping others realize that God was with them.
I don’t think Paul did this because he had no fears. I think he did it because he was thrust into a situation that required a choice. Would he depend on God no matter what or would he fold under the obvious strain? That is the real tester for bravery, for hero making. Are we going to choose to say “yes” even when everything in our head is crying “no?” It takes courage but don’t forget the one who is helping plant courage in us, the great Encourager Himself. Do you feel a roar coming on?