Think of all the movies and books out there with the word “brave” in the title. There’s Braveheart, Brave, Home of the Brave,and Brave New World just to name a few. If we then added all of the movies and books that have bravery as their theme, it would morph into a seriously long list! Bravery is one of the words we love. It brings to mind greatness, victory. When I watch these movies or read these books it seems there’s always someone who is brave in the face of tremendous challenge, who unfailingly sticks to a greater purpose and vision and never waivers in their belief, even when everyone else around them does. They have integrity and honor. They never fail. I sit up a little straighter when I hear about them. It makes me want to be a better person.
I wish I could be one of those people. I really do! I want to be this fearless warrior who demolishes the enemy against tremendous odds and comes out on top; I want to be the one who, even in failure, has such unshakeable faith in my cause that those around me are inspired. But the truth is I’m not. I do fail; I waiver in my vision and in my belief in what can be. My faith falters. I suspect yours does, too.
Guess what? We’re in good company! One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Moses. Why? Because he doubts and waivers like I do. When God calls him to do extraordinary things, Moses doesn’t snap to attention, jump in and start making history. Instead, his first response is, “But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11 MSG)
So God tells Moses He’ll be with him. He reveals the name He wants to be called by His people to Moses and gives him very specific direction on exactly how to move forward with this vision. Does Moses finally get excited? No! He comes back with, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘God? Appear to him? Hardly!’” (Ex 4:1 MSG)
God then does a few miracles for Moses and lets him know He will give Moses special powers to use. But does our man Moses finally understand God is on his side, find faith, and start taking steps forward? No. He begins to make excuses about how he isn’t a very good speaker and how he’s actually kinda slow. God encourages Moses again and tells him He’ll give Moses the words and teach him what to say.
Okay, even I at this point would begin to believe God had some pretty remarkable plans laid out for me and would really hold my hand and grant me tremendous victory. Yet this is why I love Moses. He doesn’t say, “Woohoo, God! Let’s go!” Instead, he says, “Please, Lord, I beg you to send Your message through someone else, anyone else.” (Ex. 4:13)
Even then, God doesn’t change His mind about Moses. He gets angry, yes. He tells him He’ll let his brother Aaron can come along and speak on Moses’ behalf. But He never withdraws His vision for Moses. Nearly two entire chapters of the Bible are devoted to God trying to convince Moses He’s with him (that’s a huge amount of biblical real estate – most of the others we read about who are called by God get a few sentences or a paragraph at best) and Moses is still skeptical. I can relate to that. And rather interestingly Aaron never really does speak on Moses’ behalf to the people. Moses does all the speaking. God just told Moses what he needed to hear in the moment.
I think we’re all a lot like Moses. We want to be more like the William Wallace we see in the movie Braveheart, but in reality we, like Moses, question God; we don’t want to understand and ultimately we don’t want to go down the road that lays before us – even when we finally get it’s the right road! Obviously Moses did some amazing, remarkable things and became one of our greatest bible legends ever. That’s why I like him. He reminds me God will still do miraculous things in my life even when I have a hard time believing Him, or in getting myself and my fears out of God’s way.
There is a quote I love from the book Allegiantby Veronica Roth. It says,
“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”
So today, I encourage you to explore what day-to-day bravery looks like – not the William Wallace bravery but the messy, not always straightforward, sometimes wavering bravery of Moses. I have personally experienced and now believe this kind of daily bravery will bring about many tiny little miracles in your life that over time become the most important miracle of all – the joy and peace that comes from a transformed, renewed life.
For further thought: The late, great Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Being brave isn’t always about doing big things; it’s about continuing to work on growing day by day. What is one way you can personally move forward this week? Feel free to post your action plan!
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