Arriving home after a long day driving buses in a busy city, Steve St Bernard noticed children pointing up toward the third-floor window of his apartment block. His neighbour’s special-needs daughter was climbing out of the window onto the wall-mounted air conditioner.
Steve recalls asking God, ‘Let me catch her, please. Don’t let me miss, I don’t play baseball. I’m not a sportsman. I don’t want to miss.’ The girl fell. Steve lunged left, throwing out his arms to catch the falling seven-year-old. She fell into his left arm only. Together they crashed to the concrete pavement.
Courage is most often characterised as a convicted formidable force charging into jeopardy’s jaws without reservation.
I’m so grateful the biblical model of courage draws its strength from outside ourselves. We are encouraged to draw down on our Father’s strength.
Counter-intuitively, the Psalmist calls us to ‘wait’. To make space and time for God’s courage to infuse us. To take God’s courage. This is no easy thing to do. Waiting on God to fill us in the face of an antagonistic world may be seen as timidity or weakness. It takes strength to wait for the Lord when we feel under attack.
Steve was faced with many possible alternatives as he watched the little girl teeter high on that air conditioner. Instead, he called on God to give him what was needed. A good eye, fast feet and strong arms.
And then he waited.
God’s courage is not an impetuous one. Be strong.
Wait. Take heart.