Those Too Brave
Faith is the paradox of life.
We are told not to fear by those afraid, living alongside us while an invisible fear is stealing through the air.
We are reminded that we "do not have a spirit of fear", but never told to echo the heart cry of the Living Word as "I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God." (Psalm 69:3)
What if the command not to fear is not a commandment to stop being, but a grace to meet us in the being?
What if the way that our God has wired us, Imago Dei, is to have a wise response to all that is wrong in the world?
What if we did not tell people not to be afraid, but told people what to do with it?
Faith is the paradox of life, the walking on the waves, the rising after death.
Friend, wisdom is weeping with those who weep. Wisdom is recognizing and mourning the poisonous death that sin brings to the world. And wisdom is knowing that fear is real, but it is not the end.
Faith does not ignore or shame fear, but holds it up to the light. If we are brave and acknowledge fear, then we must also acknowledge The King who slayed it.
Our Father did not just say "Fear not," He said:
"Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
Your Abba is not sternly pointing at you in this season of fear and unrest and saying "Don't Be Afraid", and leaving it there. He is full of love and understanding, and when He wired your body He gave you a fear response to protect you. So in His good Word, written for you, He reminds you why you are too brave to be a slave to fear.
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no shame for those afraid. There is an outstretched hand ready to pull you up upon the waves. There is a reminder that you are not alone, but that "Behold, I am with you until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
We are not a people who do not hurt. We are not even a people who do not fear.
But we are a people too brave.
We are a people brave with faith: the stepping out on the unseen, steadfast foundation that is the unmoving rock of ages.
We are too brave to fear what this world can do to us, for it is all a "light momentary affliction," "preparing for us an eternal weight of glory." (2 Corinthians 4:17)
We are a people too brave to let anything stop us from living love.
We are a people too brave to deny that we live in a world of shadows.
And we are a people too brave not to shine light in the darkness.