How We’re Learning
By Claudia Duff
Free to be… Brave.
BRAVE, is my *one word* for this year. At first glance it looks quite glamorous, but dig a bit deeper and you know there is some hard stuff under there.
I am discovering that becoming brave is not the same as being brave. There is a process that involves a daily struggle of taking my thoughts captive and making them bend and yield to the things of God. I have found that I am my own worst enemy in my adventure of becoming brave. Trust me, wanting and being brave are not the same.
I have uncovered that truth in the Word of God.
The Lord God is my strength, my bravery. He will walk me through places of trouble and suffering. Habakkuk 3:19
Now, this is good news! I can’t make myself brave, only God can do that. The Lord has promised to accomplish His work in me. Despite my failings, God will be my strength and will make me brave even in times of trouble and suffering. When my life is hard, my God will make me to be harder.
In preparation to begin focusing on my *one word* I picked up a book aptly named, 100 Days to Brave. Perfect! I get to be brave and do it quickly. If that’s what you were thinking as well, we are both wrong. I am already planning to read this little book at least twice this year and possibly 3 times.
Brave ain’t easy folks, not even a little bit. You may be familiar with the Bible stories of David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den, Noah and the ark. These guys were seriously brave, no doubt about it. Fortunately, I do not encounter giants or lions and have never experienced a flood that destroyed the entire earth.
So, being that kind of brave is not an option for me, or is it? My husband retired in 2013. Since then we have lived in 5 different homes, 2 states, and held about 4-8 jobs between the two of us. I often feel like I am living in a lion’s den of darkness and chaos of sharp teeth. That the mountains of financial responsibilities feel more like waves crashing over me. And the giant of unknowns is larger than I once thought and I am running out of stones.
Bravery has never been so needed yet felt so far out of my reach. But, I am determined to become brave and it will come with some effort on my part.
How to be Brave:
- Read. Every day (okay most days). I read my daily devotional alongside my book on being brave.
- Pray. While reading, I find myself praying when my heart is pricked. Sometimes it’s a prayer of gratitude, but mostly it is a prayer for forgiveness and a desperate plea for God to help me.
- Act. I then choose to journal my prayers, thoughts, and also an action point for that day.
Here is an excerpt from a journal entry: “When God said, ‘all things,’ He meant all things would work together for our good, to include the hard and prickly parts. I was made to be brave. How else would I be able to share my God-sized story? So, here I am chasing down brave like it owes me money, driving it like I stole it, and wearing it like a crown…”
My first action point to becoming brave was to accept and realize God wanted to work with what was present: me. I didn’t need to change so I could become brave, I needed to surrender myself and begin to allow the work of the Holy Spirit to make me brave.
Once again the words of Habakkuk ring true, “The Lord God is my strength, my bravery.”
This week, join me in pursuing the heart of God through a daily quiet time by reading through a few of the biblical accounts of heroes of faith, recording your thoughts and prayers in a journal or sharing them aloud with a friend. There is no wrong way to spend time with God. Just do it.
Let’s be free to be brave together this week! Looking forward to hearing how God is growing a BRAVE heart in each of you!
Dear Lord, thank you for being with me through thick and thin. Thank you for strengthening me and making me brave. Lord, you are wonderful and mighty. Amen
Verses to Ponder:
Gripped in the hand of a Gracious God!