“Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain Which was inflicted on me, With which the LORD tormented me on the day of His fierce anger.” – Lamentations 1:12.
“But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!” – Luke 12:50.
Fear – Of One Thing
Oliver Hazard Perry suffered a psychopathic fear of cows. He would even cross the road to avoid passing a cow. Yet that same man audaciously and fearlessly directed the American fleet against the British on the Great Lakes in the War of 1812. In the midst of battle, with his ship disabled, he rowed from it to another to keep his command afloat. Petrified of cows, he had no fear of guns, swords, or death. Fear of a single thing did not mean cowardice in all things.
Christians struggle with multiple acts of obedience, and we may think we are not Christians because of that struggle. This is not true. The outcome, not the conflict, determines our place with God. We can have every intention of obeying, yet have to fight ourselves to obey. Jesus sympathizes, for he experienced the same struggle when he confronted the cross. His sympathy goes beyond even that. He also understands what it means to accept a burden we don’t want to bear, but cannot escape.
Courage is fear that has said its prayers. – Dorothy Bernard
Fear can keep a man out of danger, but courage can support him in it. – Thomas Fuller
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. – G.K. Chesterton
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. – C.S. Lewis