By Bruce Green

Almost every wilderness has some water somewhere—it’s just a matter of finding it. In the wilderness John was part of, that is the Jordan River. The river flows north to south and in many places its banks are thick with reeds that grow tall and thin. And when the wind blows, the reeds bend with it offering minimal resistance.
By no less of an authority than Jesus, John was no reed. When the winds of opposition blew, he stood tall and straight and didn’t bend. Whether it was Herod’s immorality, the Jewish leaders’ hypocrisy or the people’s need for repentance, John told it like it was. When things didn’t seem right (like him baptizing Jesus), he wasn’t shy about saying it.
Karle Wilson Baker said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” And it’s true; courage isn’t the absence of fear as much as it is the presence of faith. Everyone has fears and anxieties and many of them are not going anywhere but that’s okay. They don’t need to be banished, just overcome. They need to be dealt with to the degree that they no longer push our buttons or run our lives.
One way to live more courageously is to fill our hearts and minds with examples of people who faced their fears and continued to move forward. John was such a person, but the truth is, such people are all around us these days: medical personnel (they should get the equivalent of combat pay), anyone working in a grocery store or providing other essential services that exposes them to large numbers of people. After a 13-hour shift in an emergency room in NYC where 90% of his patients were either suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19, Dr. Craig Spencer tweeted, The sirens on otherwise empty NYC streets are unending & haunting. I’m tired. But really honored to be back in the ER in the morning.
That’s standing tall and straight when the wind blows.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7).