"So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled and escaped."
I Samuel 19: 12, Amplified Bible
"Courage, the footstool of the virtues, upon which they stand."
Robert Louis Stevenson
Has there been a time in my life when I had to act with great courage?
How did it make me feel?
"Perfect courage is to do unwitnessed what we should be capable of doing before all the world."
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of fear."
His name was Lord Shaftesbury, the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury. He is remembered in Great Britain for taking three factory acts through Parliament along with the Coal Mines Act of 1842 which put a stop to the employment underground of women and children under thirteen years of age.
Never forgetting the daunting moment he introduced the bill in the House of Commons regarding controlling child labor laws, he made this observation, "As I stood at the table, and just before I opened my mouth, the words of God came forcibly to my mind, ‘only be strong and of good courage.'"
Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt you needed to exhibit God's heavenly gift of courage?
Recently, I have thought a great deal about what courage really means as each of us lives our lives everyday. And I read a rather humorous but descriptive quote by "The Duke" or as he is better known, John Wayne, the famed Hollywood cowboy and actor. Here's how this big man described the word: "Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway."
I can relate to what he said because I was a "horse woman" before our car accident. I'd ridden horses up creeks, over mountains and up dangerous trails. I loved riding horseback. But there were a few times when I was nearly thrown off a horse and had to summon the courage to climb back into the saddle unafraid, for as I quickly found out, just as a courageous spirit can be contagious, so can a fearful one.
I want to be clear, courage in my life has not been jumping off a bridge held only by a bungee cord. Courage, as one author penned, is what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other when you think you can't.
It wasn't until I spent four months in the hospital after our car accident, two of which were in a Rehabilitation Hospital, that I can say I came face-to-face with courage. The kind of courage it takes to know the pain will bring you to tears but you have to move anyway. And it was the kind of courage that understood life would never be the same again, but still you had an attitude that perhaps, just perhaps, in spite of your limited physical capacity and life-long disabilities, there would be a new, exciting pathway laid out for you by your heavenly Father.
This is the kind of courage I see profiled in the life of Michal. In the face of her dad's rage and threats; even with the potential that she could be on the receiving end of her father's murderous plot, Michal not only protected her husband, she assisted in saving his life, right within the palace walls, letting David down with a rope to safety.
Michal had other options. She could have thought of her own well-being first, but she didn't. She gave her protection to the man she loved, and I think this tells us a lot about this woman whose boldness and bravery we will continue to study tomorrow.
Michal was a woman of constancy that included a constant love and a constant courageous spirit. It is my prayer that I will take lessons from her life and apply them to my own.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
"To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes…they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free."
Anonymous Chicago Teacher
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
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