Contrary to popular belief, bravery is not an elusive thing of the past. You don’t have to scale mountains or live in the old Wild West to be brave. You don’t have to fight epic medieval battles or captain a battleship to be deemed brave. Bravery is more than that. It’s more than heroic actions. Would you like to know how I know this?
I grew up on Little House On The Prairie and old fashioned, make-believe worlds. I’m pretty sure I lived and breathed to be brave like Ma, Mary and Laura. Later on I wanted to be brave like Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom, my Granna and other Holocaust victims/survivors. I wanted to be brave like the missionaries of old who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel. But I was never brave. I was shy and quiet. Fearful of sleep and wake. Anxious about talking and being silent. Afraid either option would end in humiliation. How could I be brave? I was just little old me.
But now, through a series of events, I’ve decided I am brave. Perhaps not traditionally brave. But brave indeed.
I’m brave because I’m alive. I’m living. I’m thriving, seeking, communing. I’m trying, doing, failing. I’m smiling, laughing, dancing. And that is brave. This right here is brave. Life in its messiest, most chaotic state is brave, because bravery is found in simply living. Living is a truly brave and beautiful thing.
You, yes you, are brave too. No matter who you are or where you come from. You with the cuts and the scars. You’re brave. You with the broken marriage and the empty bed. You’re brave. You with the newborn babe and the tired eyes. You with the messy house, burning dinner and crying kids. You’re both brave. You with the grave and the grieving heart. You’re so brave. You with the plate of food staring back at you and the voices in your head. You’re brave too. You with the boy who took more than you wanted him to. You’re brave. You who gave the boy more than you should have. You’re brave too.
If you’re anything like me, you’re screaming inside, “I’m not brave! You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve done, who I am! I can’t be brave!”
Oh, but you are. Brave indeed.
You’re brave because day after day you choose life. You’re brave because a part of you knows there is hope and redemption for your life. A part of you at least hopes there is hope and sometimes that has to be enough for the moment. You are brave because you keep loving your kids even though they kept you up all night and threw tantrums all day. You are brave because even after loss you dare to love. You are brave because through abuse, abandonment and heartache you live on.
Still don’t believe me? Read this.
You’re brave because He, the God of the universe from the biggest star to the tiniest cell, says you are. You’re brave because the God Man who rose from the DEAD says you are. You’re brave because Jesus, who took your sin to the cross and said “It is finished,” also looks at you right now and says “You dear one, with the heavy heart, are brave and I love you.” You’re brave not because I say you are but because Jesus Christ says you are.
The question is, will you believe Him and start living BRAVE?