Our culture talks a lot about being brave. Our movies and media celebrate heroic acts of adventure, taking bold steps where no one has gone before.
But sometimes bravery looks very different from this.
To be “brave” is to face with courage the things that scare us. Courage is not the absence of fear, but choosing to face fear even as you feel it. As believers, Christ’s overcoming power is our guarantee in scary situations. We can be brave because He is always with us.
Most of us won’t climb a mountain in a life-threatening blizzard and some of us won’t even face the death of a close loved one (at least not for many years). So what do we have to face with courage?
Sometimes it takes courage to do the next thing.
In seasons of waiting, this is incredibly hard. We tend to believe that since life isn’t progressing forward according to plan, our faithfulness here doesn’t matter. We are at risk of apathy. We are tempted to give up. And in these moments it takes bravery to stand up to those emotions and faithfully do the next thing.
Perhaps you’re waiting to find out whether you got into the college of your choice. Maybe you’re waiting on an interview or a test result or a message from a friend. As you wait, be brave. Take the next step of faithfulness right where you are, into the difficulty and the uncertainty. This is a place where courage is proven.
Holy things aren’t always big things
Christian culture tends to make a big deal out of the “mountaintop moments”: recommitments, graduations, job changes, weddings, births and the like. And while these are pivotal life changes that alter how our days play out, they are not the holiest moments of our lives. The holiest moments are those in which God’s presence is invited in—the simple, daily movements where God meets our weaknesses. Most often, holy moments are the ones we faced while still afraid.
How you handle conflict in your job, boredom at home or waiting for anything reveals how much courage is in your soul. And if you’re lacking, God is always able to equip you for the day’s demands. But don’t think that bravery is only required for the “big” decisions of life. Simple obedience to the next thing on your plate, when done for the Lord, is a courageous act.
Think about what the next step of obedience would be for you today. Is it to talk to someone who needs to be welcomed? To resolve an issue with a family member? To simply stay where you are and wait on the Lord’s timing? It might not be life-threatening, but if it intimidates you, hiding from it is not the answer. Be strong and courageous, rely on the Lord and obey what He is asking you to do. You will have peace and confidence you didn’t know was possible when you choose Him at every opportunity.