It’s one of the hallmarks of a true camper. Any amateur can hold a match to a few firefighters placed under some dry kindling packed full of scrunched up newspaper to get a fire started, but it takes an expert to reignite that same fire the following morning with the few glowing embers that are left over.
I’s also easy to be courageous when your surrounded by people who agree with you or when things are all going your way. But when the fire has gone out and you find yourself overwhelmed by a wave of fear and intimidation or when things have seemed to turn against you, it can be almost impossible to reignite the embers of courage.
Judah was surrounded by an enemy far too powerful for them and it seemed impossible to escape the impending destruction coming their way. At a time like this, courage was at an all time low – and it seemed that this was a fire that was never going to reignite.
However Hezekiah made the decision that no matter how much water was poured out over this fire nothing would dampen his resolve to trust in the Lord and keep the flames of courage burning within. In a moment that defied the pervasive atmosphere of heaviness and hopelessness Hezekiah declared that his hope was fixed not in what he saw with his eyes, but what he saw with his heart:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles”
King Hezekiah showed remarkably bold leadership as he singe handedly cut through the suffocating fog of doubt and became the voice that reignited the embers of courage into a roaring flame:
‘The people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said’ – 2 Chronicles 32:7-8 (NIV)
It’s easy to lead when the fire is burning. However the hallmark of a true leader is the ability to see beyond what others see – even when it it means being the only glowing ember left over that will ignite courage and confidence in the hearts of people to trust in the promises of God and do what they never thought possible!