Bravery is not the absence of fear. Bravery is acting in spite of fear.
When reading this verse, it’s easy for us to overlook the significance of what Jesus said to his disciples. Today a cross is a religious symbol that is often used as a decoration or as jewelry.
However, to the disciples a cross was a symbol of death, torture, pain, suffering, fear, and humiliation. A cross was used to execute people. It resulted in a slow and gruesome death.
Jesus is making an extremely difficult request for all those who would follow him. To complete this task, a person would need perseverance and dedication.
Saturday night, I participated in the “Light Up The Night 5k” charity race. Even though it was only 3 weeks after my surgery, I thought I would be fine. I felt good that day and did well during the first mile.
However, I started getting dizzy near the 1 mile mark. I slowed down my pace, but the dizziness just kept getting worse.
I refused to quit, so I just kept on walking. At times, I staggered and stumbled on the road. Moving my head or even my eyes made it worse. Lights were also difficult and I felt like my head was spinning.
An hour had passed and I still wasn’t at the finished line. My family was concerned, so Gwen took off in an attempt to find me. She located me as I was turning to make the final stretch to the finish line.
I told Gwen what was going on and she offered to help. She grabbed my hand and walked with me for the rest of the race. I kept my head down and tried to avoid doing anything that would make me feel worse. At times I would close my eyes and relied on Gwen to keep me from getting hurt.
We crossed the finish line and a doctor approached us. He started to check my pulse and asked about my breathing. I told him about my surgery and said I was just dizzy. The doctor made sure I had a chair and hung around for a while to ensure nothing serious was going on with me.
I felt miserable that night, but I am glad I completed the race with Gwen’s help.