Last night came the most adventurous sleigh ride I've ever had the displeasure of taking. And I use the word "adventurous" in place of "torturous" because this is Christmas and I should be posting "feel-good" stories. To make a long story short, I was taking my husband's family's traditional sleigh ride with Clydesdale horses to look at Christmas lights through a neighborhood when suddenly one little girl's balloon popped, the horses reared and then bolted, with all twenty of us attached to the rickety cart on wheels. With horses out of control and the driver frantically trying to get the horses under control, we're zipping around corners and I'm screaming at all our kids in the back, "HANG ON!!!" Finally he got them slowed down. My 16-year-old nephew who is sitting next to me looks at me weirdly and says, "I thought for a second the phone in your pocket was vibrating but that's actually you." Yep. Nerves-of-steel Rene, shaking like a leaf.
One time I witnessed a bread truck plow into a concrete wall going sixty miles an hour on a highway. I was right behind him and the first person to stop. I got out of my car, intending to run up to help him, but as I tried to move my feet, they literally felt like lead. I looked down because they weren't moving at all even though I wanted to help this guy. Another man stopped, luckily, and I eventually made it to the victim, but not like I'd wanted.
I've had brief moments of courage through my life, intermittent at best. For the most part, I'm not superbly courageous.
Because of that, the cross has always fascinated and perplexed me. I am fascinated by Jesus' courage in the face of the grimmest ordeal any human has ever had to face. And as has been explained to me over and over about courage, it's not the lack of fear, it's walking through it. It is evident that Jesus wished more than anything that it could be done differently, imploring the Father to try to find another way.
It has perplexed me because I cannot comprehend it. I can't see or understand how He did it. Sometimes I don't even know why, on one of those days where I'm a certain disappointment to God, man and even my dog. How could He do that for us when He had the absolute ability to save Himself and put all his accusers to shame?
It is a wonder, and maybe I won't fully comprehend or understand it until Heaven. But I am thankful for His courage. On the days when I'm truly seeking His face, I find that I have a little more courage than the day before. Oh, I still shake like a leaf most of the time, but luckily I'm clinging to the Tree of Life.