This last Sunday I led our congregation in the song You Make Me Brave. And as I sang, chills ran through me. You make me Brave, You have called me out beyond the shores into the waves. The Lord is asking me to be brave. To step beyond my comfort zone and allow him to make waves in my life.
So I sit here and think about the risks involved with being brave and begin to wonder what bravery even looks like. We see bravery in movies as people marching off to war, or fighting for injustice. Or my favorite, a little hobbit who just wants to do the right thing and save middle earth from evil.
My bravery looks a little different, a little less heroic. Instead, my bravery comes from simply saying yes. I am tired of questioning God’s plan, or not believing that he would even call me to his work. So my brave moment comes from yes. And I will embrace the more humble qualities of bravery that look like obedience, vulnerability and patience.
Bravery is taking that first step. That one you feel the least qualified to take. And then stepping back and saying, Lord, it’s all in your hands. I know you’ve got a plan, and I’m willing to let you lead.
Bravery is shedding old skin and discovering what’s new. It’s remembering what was, but not dwelling there, because what is to come has the potential to be so great. It’s time to take what has happened in the past, learn from it, and apply it to the future. What lesson has God taught you that you can use to glorify Him?
So what are the risks of being brave?
The first, and the one we all seem to fear most, you fail. But the bravest people I know are the ones who fail the most, learn from it and move on. Failure is only an experience that can help you in the future. It stings to admit failure, but to try in the first place is sometimes the reward.
The second risk, resistance from others. I don’t know why we aren’t more supportive of each other, but there will always be someone who opposes you in some way. But if what you’re doing is to glorify God, then let them resist. I always think of Jesus who was rejected in his home town (Mark 6:1-6 but read through 13). The people who you’d think would be behind him the most rejected him. When you’re stepping out in faith, rejection will happen, though it may not always be those close to you.
The third risk, you succeed. What do you actually do with that? There have been times I’ve experienced success and wondered what to do with it because I was used to, or expecting, failure. But eventually, when you continue to put yourself out there, success will be inevitable. Prepare for it. Enjoy it. Praise Him for it! You put yourself out there. Celebrate the small successes along the way. And be thankful.
Now that we’ve put that out there, how is God asking you to be brave? What areas of your life is he challenging you? Are you ready to step beyond the shore and let him create waves?