I’m a Wimp and the Shula Cohen Story

15 Comments June 23, 2012 in Christian Life and Personal

I recently watched a documentary film about Israeli Heroine Shula Cohen. She was caught by the Lebanese Army when they found out she was an Israeli spy.

When she was captured she’d recently given birth to her 6th child. Her husband had no idea she’d been a spy for 12 years.

Shula Cohen – Israeli Hero

They tortured her. Pulled out her finger and toe nails. They tied her by the feet and hands and hung her upside down and whipped her. They’d stop every few minutes so a doctor could check and be sure she was still alive.

Then they’d start again.

The story is outright miraculous. It’s just one amazing example of how God continues to watch over the people of Israel.

Parts of the story are gruesome. But beautiful. With God’s help Shula saved her people, the Jews. Then with God’s help she was able to courageously live through 7 years of tortured imprisonment, almost all of that in solitary confinement.

Some of that story is told here in this video, much of it by Shula Cohen herself, courtesy of Tom Ivy and The Ivy Company.

This excerpt of “The Shula Cohen Story” from “Against All Odds: In Search of a Miracle” is a bit over 20 minutes long. That’s much longer than I usually post, but well worth the time to watch. Please note, because of some of the subject matter and dramatic segments I don’t recommend watching the video with your young or pre-teen children. Watch it yourself first, and then decide.

I’m a Wimp

Then there’s me. I’m a wimp.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I couldn’t sleep the other night because I had forgotten to turn on my electric heating pad and my feet were cold.
  • This morning I opened my fridge, which is stuffed to the gills, and I couldn’t find anything ‘good’ to eat.
  • A headache gives me ‘permission’ to be grumpy.
  • My depression gives me an ‘excuse’ to be nasty.
  • PMS allows me to make bad choices and have something else to blame.
  • My husband didn’t let me buy something, so now I’m going to hold a little grudge and pout for a few hours.

Not all of those examples are mine. But some of them are. Others I’ve heard within the last week or so. I don’t think I’m alone.

I'm a Wimp - Carla Anne Coroy - Perseverance Badge

Jesus said suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character. Character produces hope.

I guess I don’t have much character. Yet.

I’ve been thinking about the how of this. How can I suffer to produce this high quality character and hope?

I believe that one day I may be persecuted for my faith in Jesus. And if that persecution will look anything like Shula Cohen’s experience… well, I have a hard time seeing how I might make it through.

We hate suffering

I believe that as a Christian culture – and I’m one of the worst in this – we have unwittingly become lovers of pleasure.

We want our delicious food. We want our movies and video games. We want the distraction of sports and music.

We avoid anything unpleasant. We don’t take time to visit our grandparents and others of the aged generation. We avoid being politically incorrect because it might cause us harm, or put us in an awkward conversation.

We want recognition. We strive to look good. We worry more about our houses than our hearts.

We don’t give to the poor… or even to missionaries.

We think the money we have is ours. We forget to be thankful for what we have and speak badly of those who have more.

We help fund a $100 Billion porn industry but we can’t give our tithe to the church. We demand free health-care, and social assistance, yet drive by the street-corner beggar with arrogance.

We know of brutally persecuted Christians who are losing their families and lives and health to stand up for God but we forget to pray for them or talk about them. Instead we throw out the information and replace it with erotica novels or a little Disney.

We don’t call abortion murder because someone might not like us.. and that wouldn’t be pleasant. We don’t tell our neighbors about Jesus because we might offend them. We let our neighbors go to hell because we’re ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We’ve become wimps.

And I am no different.

In the last days

The Bible talks about this in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 (NIV):

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Doesn’t that describe much of the church today? And we call ourselves Christians? Really?

I'm a Wimp - Carla Anne Coroy - Power Badge

Many people around us don’t come to church because they say we’re a bunch of hypocrites.

Well, maybe they’re right. That verse does say, after all… ‘Have nothing to do with them.’

But that can’t be it. There’s got to be more.

Pursuing Hope

I have decided… and I know I will fail, I am a wimp… but my heart wants to find hope.

That hope comes from a character that has grown out of perseverance in suffering. And so I will.

I can start with very small things. Things like…

  • Fasting for a meal.
  • Accepting the accusations of others without replying.
  • Reading my Bible instead of just another book.
  • Losing sleep to spend time with my Savior.
  • Giving away money to those who need it.
  • Praying with tears for those in prison.

I’ll start. This life is short. Eternity is long.

Today I’m a wimp.

But I hope one day I will be a woman who loves God more, full of the power of God that leads to godliness.

15 comments so far Uncovering God’s Hope in Everyday Life

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  1. E. Nelson says:

    My old pastor told anyone who said they don’t go to church because it’s full of hypocrites not to worry; they’ll fit right in.

    I often think about how I really don’t experience true suffering now. Your posts seem to always meet me right where my mind has been wavering…thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. Lori says:

    I just loved this post! I have been in a lot of pain lately and it helped me realize all the amazingly wonderful things I have in my life and to be thankful. It is so easy to forget when going through hard times.

  3. Krista says:

    This is a good kick in the pants sort of post. I needed it. Hopefully, I’ll let it really “bug” me and actually do something different. Thanks.

  4. Cornelia says:

    You are so right about this, Carla.
    As I was reading the news today about what is happening right now in Syria and the way the army tortures civilians ( even kids ), I wondered how much I would be able to endure for my Lord.
    I think we ( and our families ) need to get ready for suffering and get into the word, memorize scripture passages, verses and pray for wisdom.
    I believe that this is what will help us though the many hard times of this life.

  5. Olivia says:

    I love God and have faith in Him and I know my faith in Him is sincere,
    but lately I’ve been asking Him how my faith looks to Him. I have a roof over
    me, I have a healthy family, there is always food in the frig, money in the bank, we drive to church. Compared to others in poor countries, who at time don’t know where they are getting there next meal and praise God, have no homes and praise God, walk miles to attend a church and
    praise God, money in the bank?…are you kidding, I’m sure many haven’t ever been inside a bank!
    This people walk by faith and not by sight and I surely think there faith is bigger then mine, yes I do think I too am a wimpy Christian. Praise God, He loves me!

  6. Su~Rose says:

    This is lovely Carla Anne. I read what You wrote because I was looking up Shula Cohe, amazing heroie Shula Cohen. I too have measured myself against her ad come up way short.

    I really like what You wrote.

  7. Deborah Faulk says:

    Dear Carla Anne, While searching about Shula Cohen, I found your article/teaching, which is very inspiring! Thanks. Given your insight and character, if ever a time should come when you must rely upon Gods’ grace and strength alone, I believe you will be found as one of the saints described below:

    “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Rev. 12:11

    Have you read Laura Hillenbrands’ UNBROKEN? Another amazing life of perseverance and victory!

    In Western Culture, we suffer in small ways, indeed….were we called upon to suffer as Shula did, we could never do so in our own strength….God tells us, however that He will supply (Phil. 4:19), and not to worry about what we would say if called before the court (Matt. 10:19-20) …that the Holy Spirit will speak through us, just as He sang through Paul and Silas, chained in prison (Acts 16:25)! It’s not about our ability, but our TRUSTING GOD! He loves us with an everlasting love! Remember the power in the Name of Jesus, and call out to Him when in need!

    Again, Thanks for GOOD discipline training guidelines! God Bless You, Carla Anne! Deborah

  8. K. Elise Andrews says:

    I saw the documentary also. I’d never heard of Shula Cohen-now, I’ll never forget her courageous stand and Faith in God. I even called the Library for a book about her Life. They said that they couldn’t find anything but would research. Everyone should know her story. I too hope to be more than a “wimp” as I follow on to know Him and to be a “doer of His word and not just a hearer”.

  9. Antoine says:

    I want you to stop for a second and rerun the whole scenario in your mind,
    this time with a Hizballah spy caught in Israel.
    I want you to check how accepting will you be of all sorts of torture and pain inflicted by the Mossad on that spy, and how would you want to get out of that spy every single details about their operations in Israel…etc.
    See what a hypocrite you are?
    Shula got to tell her story, but no more. I hope.

    Signed : A Lebanese !

    • Ellie says:

      The Arab countries had no right to cause war against Israel–not then–not now. If they had the love of Jesus instead of the hate from whatever they believe in, there would be no need of a spy or torture or death on either side. I pray that all of the Middle East would come to know the love of Jesus–and that through Israel–God said He would bless all nations. Israel is not your enemy–Israel is your blessing. When will you ever see that????

      • Carla Anne says:

        Hi Ellie, so glad you took time to join the conversation! :)

        I think if you’ll read the article again, you’ll see that Israel has never been my enemy. That I love Israel and bless Israel. Perhaps a second reading of this article might clarify that. Be blessed!

  10. Janet Salmon says:

    Well said
    We should pass this message onto all Christians
    This women is POWERFUL

  11. Ellie says:

    Was responding to the Lebanese comment. Loved the article, and I agree with you. Most American Christians are wimps and would not be able to withstand such torture. I saw her story again this am on TBN and then looked up everything I could find about her. That is how I came to your site.

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