”Can you hand me the Tomato Soup?” A lesson in Courage.

I remember the story about a little girl who was afraid of the dark. She lived in an old farmhouse where they kept food in a pantry that to her was dark and intimidating. Her mother preparing dinner asks her to get a can of tomato soup out of the pantry. She peered behind the curtain leading to the pantry that had no light or windows, being scared she ran back to her mother empty-handed.

“Where’s the soup?” asked her mother. The little girl, shaking, replied, “Its dark in there, I’m afraid.” Three times her mother sent her back, and she went as far as the curtain and ran back without the soup.

Finally, her mother said, “Don’t be afraid of the dark, Jesus is in the dark, he’ll protect you.” Slowly the little girl returned to the pantry curtain, pulled it back and said, “Jesus, if you’re in there would you please hand me a can of tomato soup?”

It’s a funny story and while most people outgrow their fear of the dark as a child, most adults still lack the courage to face the unknown or uncertainty.

”If falter in times of struggle, how small is your strength?” Proverbs 24:10

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. The day America has set aside to remember all of those who have given their lives in defense of our country. While serving in Southeast Asia with the US Air Force, now over fifty years ago, I lost some good friends because they had the courage to face the enemy knowing they may never go home.

Someone once said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” People are inspired by leaders who are brutally honest about the risks and obstacles, but go for it anyway. Adversity energizes and motivates courageous leaders, but quickly quenches the fire in leaders without courage.

There is a fine line between faith and fanaticism and only courageous leaders walk that line, the rest follow in the shadows, a safer place. When you are hitting short-term difficulties, remember, your long-term goals create the courage to go on. Seldom does life “hand you the tomato soup,” you have to go into the unknown and get it, that takes courage.

America is facing days never seen, at least in my lifetime. As we remember those who have had their lives cut short on the battlefield let’s not forget those who are being killed every day in restricted nations because they will not deny their faith in Christ.

What uncertainty or difficulty are you facing today for which you need courage? Someone once said, ”Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Love someone today you know is struggling and God will give you the courage you need to face your own.