Uncommon ValorWednesday, August 18, 2010
Today has been one of those days when one's imagination can excite you with so many possibilities, that the very fact that you cannot possibly achieve any of them at this moment, settles a darkness over your heart. Can a girl magically go back in time and know what it was like to wield a sword and stand, common as she might be, with uncommon valor? Can she stand on a porch at night and look out at the fireflies dancing over armies, gathered about yards away, weapons drawn, cannon fire shaking the earth beneath her feet? Will she ever know what it is like to live in a time when courage was something needed every day and the fight for which one must possess it was tangible--to taste, hear, see, and even smell?
Yesterday, I was reading through the book of Samuel and came across the story of King Saul's son, Jonathan, and his arm bearer. Jonathan was just a young man, probably in his early teens (in today's world, more than likely unable to drive). The Philistines were surrounding the Hebrews; a fearsome army and they aimed to make the Hebrews their slaves. While the armies rested, Jonathan decided to take his armor bearer up to the enemies camps. "We will crawl out into the open," Jonathan told him. "If they see us and tell us to come over, we will know it is a sign from the Lord and we will attack." And so young Jonathan, courageous in a way perhaps only young, careless men can be, crawled out into the open and attacked the Philistine men. Between him and the armor bearer, they were able to take down twenty men, but they fought in such a way, that the Hebrews that defected into the enemies army took up their swords and fought beside Jonathan. Suddenly, fear was in the heart of a mighty and powerful army. And why? Because of courage, faith in God, determination, careless youthful zeal…
Maybe I feel so restless because I am like Jonathan, trapped down in my father's armies that have not gathered the courage to fight--truly fight with everything in them. I want to fight. I want to see the fear in the enemies eyes. I want to crawl out into the open, appearing outwardly as nothing to be frightened of, but stand with sword in my hand, a battle cry on my lips, and see the lights go on in the eyes of those that have defected, see the passion grow once more with n them. That's all they need: A sign, hope, an example…
So many endless thoughts going round and round in my mind. Is that how Jonathan felt as he sat by the campfire, listening to the other men trade stories of long ago? Did he hear the Lord's voice, calling his name, calling him to something greater? Don't settle in, the Lord must have said. Don't lose heart. I will use you. Yes you, only a boy, seemingly insignificant, but the son of a king.
And that poor armor bearer. He followed Jonathan out of honor and duty. He must have thought his master had lost his mind. How his heart must have raced as they stood before the Philistines. His hands might have trembled as he gripped his sword. But the moment he saw the bodies began to fall, his fellow Hebrews turning on the enemy, hope would have surged through his body. Courage. There was courage now. And he fought just as brave and strong beside Jonathan, knowing that the Lord was with him. Yes him, only an armor bearer to a young boy, seemingly insignificant, but a servant of the king.
Me? What of me, but to toil away in this modern world seeing all that the enemy of the Lord does to His people? I settle into my daily routine where there is comfort and safety. I worship in such a way that does not require more than I am ready to give. But it isn't enough. My soul still hungers--parched, like in a desert. My fingertips ache to fight. My mind will not rest. I hear my King's voice, my Father, calling my name. Yes me, just a young woman, a mother, a wife, seemingly insignificant, but the daughter of a King…
And I hear the words of warriors before telling me…Don't you know that if you stand before the enemy, strong and courageous, weapons in hand, unwavering, untouched, unafraid…that those that have defected, those that have been held captive, will see the hope their Savior has brought in you? That's all it takes. Just a little courage, like that from long ago…in a world where people still believed in valor.
That's all it takes.