Illustration on Courage
Illustration on Courage 1: World War II US tank commander General George S. Patton said, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” If you give into your fears, you are on the path to defeat. Instead if you stand strong in spite of your fears, you are on the path to victory. Well we are not alone. We have God standing with us to give us the courage to move on.
Illustration on Courage 2: On May 4, 1897, Duchess Sophie-Charlotte Alencon was presiding over a charity ball in Paris when the hall caught fire. Flames spread to the paper decorations and flimsy walls, and in seconds the place was an inferno.
In the hideous panic that followed, many women and children were trampled as they rushed for the exits, while workmen from a nearby site rushed into the blaze to carry out the trapped women. Some rescuers reached the duchess, who had remained calmly seated behind her booth. “Because of my title, I was the first to enter here. I shall be the last to go out,” she said, rejecting their offer of help. She stayed and was burned to death along with more than 120 others. (Today in the Word, April 14, 1993)
Illustration on Courage 3: The Prussian king Frederick the Great was widely known as an agnostic. By contrast, General Von Zealand, one of his most trusted officers, was a devout Christian. Thus it was that during a festive gathering the king began making crude jokes about Christ until everyone was rocking with laughter–all but Von Zealand, that is.
Finally, he arose and addressed the king: “Sire, you know I have not feared death. I have fought and won 38 battles for you. I am an old man; I shall soon have to go into the presence of One greater than you, the mighty God who saved me from my sin, the Lord Jesus Christ whom you are blaspheming. I salute you, sire, as an old man who loves his Savior, on the edge of eternity.” The place went silent, and with a trembling voice the king replied, “General Von Zealand–I beg your pardon! I beg your pardon!” And with that the party quietly ended. (Today in the Word, August, 1989, P7)
Illustration on Courage 4: One summer morning as Ray Blankenship was preparing his breakfast, he gazed out the window, and saw a small girl being swept along in the rain-flooded drainage ditch beside his Andover, Ohio, home. Blankenship knew that farther downstream, the ditch disappeared with a roar underneath a road and then emptied into the main culvert. Ray dashed out the door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the foundering child. Then he hurled himself into the deep, churning water. Blankenship surfaced and was able to grab the child’s arm. They tumbled end over end.
Within about three feet of the yawning culvert, Ray’s free hand felt something–possibly a rock– protruding from one bank. He clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child away. “If I can just hang on until help comes,” he thought. He did better than that. By the time fire-department rescuers arrived, Blankenship had pulled the girl to safety. Both were treated for shock. On April 12, 1989, Ray Blankenship was awarded the Coast Guard’s Silver Lifesaving Medal. The award is fitting, for this selfless person was at even greater risk to himself than most people knew. Ray Blankenship can’t swim. (Paul Harvey, Los Angeles Times Syndicate)