“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela
To be BRAVE means to be ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage – which is the ability to do something that frightens one, or strength in the face of pain or grief. The other day I was feeling anxious about all of the new things that are occurring in my life. I wondered if I had the strength, the ingenuity, the energy to do them. I speculated as to whether I was still useful. As I continued to prayer-journal, the LORD revealed that part of what I was experiencing was a fear of failure. At this stage of life there’s something in me that wants to be done with new things and just rest on whatever few laurels I might have. The idea of another new venture has much less shine and appeal than it did when I was younger, but Dolly Parton once said, “You’ll never do a lot unless you’re brave enough to try,” and she’s still doing LOTS at age 73!
It’s interesting the number of times that God tells Joshua not to be afraid but to ‘be strong and courageous’ in taking over leadership of Israel from Moses, and then in possessing the promised land. (Deut. 31:6;31:7; 31:23; Joshua 1:6, 1:7: 1:9, 1:18; 10:25) God told him to be brave multiple times in the same chapter TWICE in his lifetime. He said it prophetically in his preparatory phase, and decades later when the work was being actualized.
Aesop said, “It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.” To attempt to do things that few are willing to try takes faith, boldness, and courage. To look in the face of what is and have the audacity to dream and act on what could be, requires strength and valor. It’s the metal of trailblazers, forerunners and pioneers – the ones who cut through deadly terrain and jungles to make a path for others to follow. Bravery is having the guts to face down and say NO to your internal cowardice and the willingness to ‘suck at something new’ or even possibly SUCCEED at something new! Be brave! you have nothing to lose… but that fear.
“Trauma creates one of four types of people: victims, rescuers, or perps—and if you’re really lucky and really strong, and very willing and brave, survivors.” -Allison Anders- American Director The