“You guys are the brave ones”. It is a phrase that follows our description of rural village life, pioneering in an area yet untouched with the Words of hope. We tell stories of no running water, walking and praying, sharing accounts of miracles when Jesus walked the earth and in our own lives with our neighbors and friends, and even fellow workers will tell us we are heroes.
I like hearing these words, but I’m not brave. In fact, most of the time I feel exactly the opposite of anything resembling courageous, and I wonder if people would still tell me this if they could see how much time it takes me to get ready to make a phone call in Khmer, or how I have shrunk back in fear rather than take steps to cross thresholds and share with people.
The truth is, I am not the brave one. At least, what I do does not make me brave. I join a long list of brave ones who live obedient lives every day, who work hard and sacrifice and love deeply.
You mommas who are staying home to pour your energy into your little ones, or who work to provide for your family, you are brave.
You dads who show your sons how to treat a woman right, to live with integrity in a world that shouts that the opposite is acceptable, you are brave.
You teenagers who defend the defenseless, even when it is unpopular, you are brave.
You mighty prayer warriors, on your knees for your children and grandchildren, for those working in foreign lands, for your neighbors and your country, you are brave.
You college students who give up the successful, common-sense choice of a career to follow the passions the Father has put in your heart, you are brave.
You there saying no to one thing in order to say yes to another, even when no one gets it, you are brave.
You in the trenches, in your home country or in another, putting one foot in front of the other and saying over and over again your faithful yes to Jesus, you are brave.
Right where we are, we can let courage and fear both reside in our hearts as we take the next brave step to obey our Father. His Hand tight over ours, helping to fight that battle along side of us, pushing us forward and giving us the endurance and patience that we need. My role and job do not make me the hero, the brave one. It is the mighty Rock on which I stand that can give me the courage I need for each day.
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