There was a woman in the Bible.
She was terrified.
She was filled with shame and remorse.
But still she found herself being brave.
You could feel the pulse of the unspoken terror as she faltered into the room full of judgmental people; full of people ready to mock and demean her. The stale air was stifling with anger and scorn directed solely at her. She tried not to listen to the hushed whispers of ridicule. She hid her eyes at the faces of disapproving people. But she felt it. She felt it in every fibre of her being as she found herself collapsing at the feet of Jesus and began washing his feet with her costly perfume. Because it was there that she knew she would find freedom. It was at the feet of Jesus she would find healing for her very soul. Being brave, she could muster - if she knew that there was freedom at the end of that pain-filled and humiliating journey. It was a moment in time, where a woman deemed to be filthy, deemed to be wrong and reprobate of morals collided with the greatest Man of all history. There was nothing that could happen but a miracle.
It was a brave moment for a young boy to timidly walk up to a man called Andrew and cautiously, with trembling hands, lift up his tiny lunch; to let them have it to feed whoever they deemed necessary. I wonder what Andrew did? Did he laugh or did he politely take the lunch knowing that it was nothing - just a small lunch. The very act of bravery that turned a few loaves into a feast, an ordinary day into a miracle and a little boy into a history maker. What a full heart he must have had that day when he skipped back home. His little lunch fed 5000 people!!
For some of us, being brave is just getting out of bed in the morning; just showing up with a smile on our face; putting one step in front of the other even though it seems you are walking through mollases. For some, it means grabbing onto our next grand adventure; or stepping into that destiny that's been before you all along. For others, it may be staying in a marriage that you know you are supposed to fight for or making amends with a person with whom a relationship was long ago, grieved.
I don't know what being brave for you today is. I don't know what it looks like in your life. But this is what I do know. I know that you can do it.
In John 16:33, Jesus says, "Take heart for I have overcome the world." If you look at the whole chapter, you will find that being brave to the disciples meant that they might die for the cause of their faith. It meant that they would tell people about Jesus, they would live for Him even in the very face of grave danger. That's what bravery was to the disciples after Jesus left this earth. But Jesus told them that it was okay because He would give their souls peace and that the very world was in God's hands.
What does this mean to us? It means that we have to shift our prospective a little. It means we have to realize that there is a bigger picture that we don't see but that God sees it and that's good enough.
It means that even in the midst of being afraid God will blanket our souls with his peace.
Being brave doesn't mean not ever being scared. Absolutely not - that's not bravery at all. It means being so scared you can't move. It means that the world stops around you but you will yourself to inch forward even if in slow motion. Sometimes it means being terrified but making that decision to do it anyhow; to face it anyhow; to be that person you want to become. That's bravery. Doing it anyhow.
Your life may begin the day you choose to be brave.