By Randi Peck
I am not brave.
I know women who have traveled to third-world countries, amidst violence and disease. I nervously check the locks twice, when my husband leaves town for a night.
I know women who have shared the gospel with hostile family members. I tremble to answer a question.
I know women who have endured almost thirty hours of natural childbirth. I’ve had three epidurals.
I know women who have faced grave news from their doctor, again. And again. I stay up at night worrying, when my kids have an unexplained rash.
I know many women who are brave. I am not brave.
If we’re honest, I think most of us ladies would acknowledge that what we’re usually longing for is not “life on the edge”— but rather, a greater sense of safety and security. The command to “fear not” can feel impossible… Because the unknown is scary, and letting go is counter-intuitive.
So how did Sarah follow her husband into the desert, leaving behind her family, and all the was familiar? (1)
How did Jochebed send her infant down a raging river? (2)
How did Rahab welcome foreign spies into her home? (3)
When we compare our abilities with the courageous stories around us, we will always respond with “I could never…”.
But these women have a source to their strength. They knew that they were hopelessly inadequate apart from the Lord. But they believed God.
Sarah considered the Promiser faithful.
Jochebed believed in a King more powerful.
Rahab looked to an eternal city, a heavenly country.
Bravery is shaped by belief…
We cannot start with a list of feats we need to conquer. We have to start by trusting in the love of our Father, renewing our unbelieving minds in the Word. Because only when we believe God is faithful and good and strong and true, will we gladly and courageously live a life of earthly risk, for eternal reward.
Just a few of the beliefs of women who take risks..
- Moms: He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (4)
Do I really believe that God is greater than all the evil in this world? This is a question I’ve recently had to wrestle with as my husband and I begin discussing school options for our children. While I’ve long boasted the “every year, every child is different” line, I had to acknowledge that deep down, I was partly basing my decision out of fear and not conviction.
I now have peace believing that YES, God is able to save my kids no matter what lies and temptation they are exposed to!
Jureen’s words have strengthened me in this process of surrender: “When you know God is really the truth, it’s okay to open the door… I wanted my own children to look at everything that the world said and compare it to the Word and find the truth in the Lord.”
Schooling is just one example that hits close to home for me, right now— but I think that who our kids hang out with, where they go, and what we encourage them to be… All these decisions need to be prayed through, diligently, in remembrance of WHO GOD IS. Not out of fear of what we want to protect our children from. This reminder hangs in my kitchen, for those (frequent) moments I’m tempted to fear for my children:
“Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.”
(1 Samuel 1:28)
2) Wives: God is Sovereign in our submission.
Sometimes, submission is the most courageous thing you can do.
1 Peter 3:6: “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands… And you are [Sarah’s] children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”
Before I got married, I didn’t understand the connection between submitting to a husband and being brave. But you wives get it. Sometimes, when our husbands start to share an idea, this creeping, panicky feeling rises in our throats. We like to call it discernment. Honestly… I’m realizing that it’s more often FEAR. And the sinful desire to control every situation.
We are called to support our man— to submit to them— even when we can’t see how finances will pan out or how we’re going to get enough quality time. Even when they don’t parent the same way we would, or they’re handling a situation at work differently than we might.
Of course, there’s a place for input and discussion. BUT when it comes to the decisions or dreams of our husbands, we must remember that God calls us to submit to Him by submitting to them.
It’s easy to come up with the “ifs” and “buts”, but I’ll just leave you with my wise friend Lisa Herman’s advice: “[God] is the bigger umbrella… if there are holes in the umbrella of your husband, the Lord has you covered.”
3) Sisters: this earth is not our home.
During World War II, U.S. citizens on the Home Front gathered up every scrap they could spare, to assist with the war efforts. In order to use less paper, newspapers reduced the size of their margins; and bumpers were ripped off cars to be melted down and used for aircraft. John Piper often uses this analogy of “wartime lifestyle” to remind us of how we should be living radical and intentional lives unto Christ:
“In a wartime lifestyle you always ask yourself, How can my life count to advance the cause of Christ?… When Christians are willing to suffer for the cause of the unborn, for racial justice, and for spreading the gospel, then the world is going to say–just like it does in 1 Peter 3:15–”Where is your hope?”
In the eyes of this culture, we are fools to give away our money and our comfort. Retirement is about golf and motor homes. And moving to a dangerous land to share the gospel is a waste of time.
But when you truly believe that God is the greatest reward, why would you cling to the rags of this earth?
I am not brave. But the Holy Spirit lives in me… Reminding me, daily, of the I AM’s character and promises. Enabling me to carry out these small acts of faith. And leading me in a life of supernatural courage.