Finding Courage

Finding Courage

“It takes courage to look inside yourself and even more courage to write it for other people to see.” Benjamin Sisko. I hadn’t really thought about it before, what making a public website would actually mean, what putting my deepest most intimate thoughts on paper in one blog after another for all the world to see, would actually mean. September 12th of 2004 my truck was ambushed in the downtown region of Ar-Ramadi Iraq. During the 15 minutes of absolute Hades on earth the courage of 7 men would be tested literally under fire. After the first two explosions obscured HQ 25 the first bullet hit my truck HQ 26 on the door right at head level. At that point the feelings of fear and doubt started to creep in. The bullets from the enemy AK’s where striking the truck. One RPG after another was being fired at both of the trucks. An RPG that passed just a few feet from the front of the truck, and hit a barrier near the truck blew out the front right tire of HQ 26. If the truck stops we’re all dead. If we don’t keep up with HQ 25 and were separated we all die. When the MK-19 failed and my gunner Haley had to switch over to his M-16 rifle. With no side shielding he would be completely exposed to enemy fire. The amount of courage he would show under extreme stress was nothing short of a miracle, in fact the courage of Stevens, and Watson the HQ 25 gunner/driver would stand out as heroes. What does it take for a person to show courage? “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” (Nelson Mandela) Many people in their lives are faced with incidences that will test their fight or flight response. For me September of 2016 would test my fight or flight response again. This time, for the first time my flight response would kick in, and alter my life forever. Living it seems is not for the weak. If it weren’t for close calls some people never fully realize their potential, the gift of life. 1 Chronicles 28:20 “David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” True Courage cannot be had without faith. We must have faith that the situation we find ourselves in is worth courage. Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” When Haley stood up and shot back the faith he would have that the need to survive, to save the lives of his crewman would win out over fear. For me my faith that God was in control is unrelenting. True courage however might be as simple as truly trusting in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” When we give our lives to the Lord we put our faith in Him that we will never be alone. Sometimes God has a plan for us that take us out of our comfort zone. It takes a great deal of courage to follow God. No matter the cost, to have faith, is to have courage, and that courage is the key to everlasting life.

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