I’ve heard it said that courage and cowardice are hard to predict. That some, assumed to be brave, don’t hold up. And others, assumed to be weak, charge into the fray to rescue their friends.

This should give us great pause in assuming that we will be brave when tested. Better to train well, and pray that we’ll be given what we need by the One who is far braver than we. And if we fail, to recognize that He has been gracious with greater failures than us.

C.S. Lewis notes another surprising thing about courage–that courage itself is surprising. It’s a bracing thought.

“Ransom was all gooseflesh, and his knees kept getting in each other’s way. It surprised him that he could experience so extreme a terror and yet be walking and thinking–as men in war or sickness are surprised to find how much can be borne: ‘It will drive us mad,’ ‘It will kill us outright,’ we say; and then it happens and we find ourselves neither mad nor dead, still held to the task.”

C.S. Lewis, Perelandra, 112.