I’m not really afraid of much. Heights: nope. Snakes: nah. Clowns are cute to me. Public speaking? I do it for a living, so a ‘no’ for that one too. But, bees and wasps? Count me out. THOSE things I’m real scared of.
It’s interesting, however, that I would be so afraid of something so small in comparison to jumping out of a plane or going head-to-head with a rattlesnake. My fear of bees and wasps can be traced back to a specific moment, though. I was riding down the highway with my mom in our 1990 blue and tan Chevy suburban with my arm resting out of the open window. Then a bee stung me on my finger and I cried so loudly my mom almost wrecked. That was the moment I became afraid of bees and wasps.
And isn’t that like much of our pain today? It all can get traced back to a moment in time when something really, deeply hurt you. Whether it was something said to you, done to you, someone that walked away or frightened you. One moment can unlock a trail of fear in us for a lifetime.
So, what do we do with that? How do we live with fears that stem from a wound that may have been planted in us a long time ago?
I think that’s where bravery comes in. But not the fake, “I’m strong” kind of bravery, but rather the kind that costs you something. The kind of bravery that doesn’t count unless you’re up against something hard. I tell my daughter all the time, “You don’t need bravery if it’s not hard or painful.”
But friend, bravery isn’t about being strong either. It doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to flaunt what you’re good at. It’s not about pretending that things are perfect; it’s about being brave enough to admit when you’re absolutely petrified of that tiny black and yellow furry flying insect – or that conversation, that divorce, that betrayal, the financial struggle, that insecurity. It’s about facing the fear and the pain that will inevitably come with surrender to a God whose comfort is greater than the pain. That’s bravery.
Because what if the comfort of God is better than the absence of pain?
I’ve made a commitment in my life to not pray the pain away anymore. I’ve learned to welcome it and push all of my energy into praying for the “withness” of God through the pain.
I don’t want worldly comfort. I want a rescuer.
I don’t want fake strength. I want to suffer with resilience.
I don’t want to hide from the pain. I want to watch my Creator bring me through it.
I want grit. I want moxie. I want resilience. I want real bravery. I want whatever it takes to stand in the valleys, look God’s sons and daughters in the eyes, and remind you right now that He’s coming for you. He’s not asleep on the job – He’s coming.
Friend, I’ll be honest with you. His presence won’t make the pain any easier, but He’ll make sure it won’t crush you. He’ll make your willingness to be brave worth it. So, keep your head up, or down, or looking straight forward to keep from turning back. Do whatever you need to stay the course, to finish your race well, to stay brave. Completely, fiercely, brave. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
Here are my favorite products for remembering these things...