Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage. (Ezra 7:28)
THE MOTION PICTURE Chariots of Fire won four Oscars in 1981. It tells the story of Eric Liddell, who was favored to win the 100-meter race in the 1924 Olympics. However, when he learned the heats would take place on Sunday, he would not run. He felt it would not honor God.
So, Liddell began to train for the 400-meter race, which was not his best event. No one expected him to win a gold medal. Yet, to his country’s delight, he did win and brought home the gold.
He went on to serve God as a missionary in China. In the years preceding World War II, Liddell often risked his life to bring supplies to the school where he taught. When the Japanese invaded China, they sent him to an internment camp. There he worked enthusiastically, teaching in the camp school.
At one point, he could have been included in a prisoner exchange and gained his freedom. Instead, he gave his place to a pregnant woman. Early in 1942 he began suffering terrible headaches. A doctor diagnosed a brain tumor. Soon afterward he died in the internment camp at the age of forty-three.
Like Ezra, God’s hand was upon Liddell and he took courage. As we approach a New Year, what courageous thing could you do if you knew God’s hand was upon you?
Look for ways to serve God courageously.
Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.