Courage emerges, not from increased police security, but from enhanced spiritual maturity. Martin Luther King exemplified this. He chose not to fear those who meant him harm. On April 3, 1968, he spent hours in a plane, waiting on the tarmac, due to bomb threats. When he arrived in Memphis later that day, he was tired and hungry but not afraid.
“We’ve got some difficult days ahead,” he told the crowd. “But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
He would be dead in less than twenty-four hours. But the people who meant him harm fell short in their goal. They took his breath, but they never took his soul.
Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012).
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