August 4 - Take Courage!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4 - Take Courage!
Matthew 14:27; Mark 6:50

When the Wizard of Oz pinned the Medal of Courage on the Cowardly Lion (Are you kidding me with this?  That took courage in and of itself!  We all know that a lion’s coat is his skin. Ow!), that dear lion stood up straight and proud. Even when it seemed too terrifying to press on, the lion had hung right in there with Dorothy and the gang.

One evening, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and head for the other side of the lake while he left them for a while and went off to pray.  In the middle of the night, he simply walked out across the lake to join them. I’m not sure about you, but I would have been cowering in the boat if I saw someone walking across the water in the dark of the night.  My senses would have been messed up because of the darkness and my sensibilities would have been messed up as I tried to shake off the grogginess of sleep.  I’m not sure my first response would have been to think it was a ghost, but I would have been terrified of something that was so far out of my idea of normal.

Matthew tells us that Jesus ‘immediately’ said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Jesus knew that the sight of him coming toward them would be frightening and he didn’t wait to assure them, he gave them comfort immediately.

I have a very high ‘startle’ response.  Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s a low startle response.  Whatever.  I startled easily.  And loudly. And violently sometimes. I tend to flail around and scream. It might be a dead mouse in the utility sink or a snake slithering across the room or it might be a character leaping out in a movie. My husband has been known to sit two seats away from me in a movie theater because he’s afraid of my reaction, which can be physical and violent.

Sometimes I need immediate knowledge that everything is going to be ok and I can handle the next step (like removing the dead mouse from the utility sink or continuing to walk down the path after the snake has passed).

Today.  Take Courage. There is nothing that comes at you which can not be faced, especially when you know that Jesus Christ can walk on water and will be there to comfort you.