How To Find Courage When You Feel Afraid
In the summer of 1940, Hendrik Kraemer, a missionary to Indonesia spoke at a Sunday night church service in the Netherlands. Rev. Kraemer was in his native Holland when World War Two began. He, along with others, were deeply troubled because the Nazis had begun arresting their Jewish neighbors and shipping them out of the country. They had even heard rumors that the Nazis were transporting them to extermination camps.
After the church meeting ended, several people from the congregation asked if they could speak with Rev. Kraemer in private. They said, “Sir, what should we do? Our Jewish neighbors are in great danger.” Kramer answered, “I cannot tell you what to do, but I can tell you who you are. And if you know who you are, then you’ll know what to do.” He opened his Bible to 1 Peter 2:9 and began to read:
“You are a chosen people,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
God’s special possession,
that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Rev. Kramer closed his Bible. “Do you know who you are?” he asked. “If so, then you’ll know what to do.” The group thanked him and left. That night they formed the Dutch resistance, ultimately saving the lives of thousands of Jews.
When I read such stories, I find myself deeply inspired. God gave those Christians the strength and the courage to risk their lives to save their Jewish neighbors. The same God who strengthened those believers in Holland long ago is the same God who will help us today.
calls each one of to bring hope and healing to a hurting world. God needs each one of us to put aside passivity and to join together to bring light and hope to a dark world.
God has not called us to do something easy, but He has called us to do something amazing for Him. Lucky for us, He is not asking us to do this alone; just as the Dutch resistance wasn’t something that one person could do alone. God has given us our brothers and sisters in Christ to help and encourage us.
Oftentimes, the plan that God has for us involves ordinary, seemingly-small acts of kindness and service. God takes our small efforts and increasse them in ways that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.