"Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God." Isaiah 50:10 (Amplified Bible)
I have been in awe over people who have been awarded for their bravery in a solemn award ceremony. But I am convinced that some of the bravest men, women, and children have never been recognized for deeds that would rival the bravery of any war hero. These are the ones who have been overlooked for silent battles that have remained hidden in the shadows to everyone else. I had a conversation with someone last night who is the picture of bravery to me, yet this person doesn't feel she has an ounce of courage in her. In fact, she is drowning in sorrow and heartache and can't see the end of the long and lonely tunnel she has been forced to try to stumble through. The path she walks is steeped in darkness and the deepest trouble she has ever known. She wonders if she will ever be able to live again, if she can ever know happiness as she once did. Although the sun shines, it seems to mock her pain. Yet she is determined to trust the One who seems far off and distant. She is choosing to be confident in the Name that is above all names. When she feels as though she has hit the bottom of the pit, her numbed heart and mind desperately fight to hold on to the truth that she is being supported by her God. That is bravery.
Bravery is realizing that even hope has to be waited for sometimes. A brave soul is considered brave when he or she acts blindly on faith's conviction, especially when there is no promise of the desired rescue or a favorable outcome. Bravery characterizes the one who is still holding on to faith when all seems lost, when the problem seems to never come to an end, and when the bottom of the world seems as though it will surely fall out. The one who is brave still believes with Job "that though He slay me, yet I will trust Him." Bravery's heart weeps at the terrible dilemma of being on this side of eternity where so much is seen as through a dark glass, but dares to not lose confidence in the One who will bring everything to light one day. Bravery belongs to the one who has been horribly mistreated, yet forgives, and refuses to live under the chokehold of bitterness. And bravery lets its own dreams be dashed to pieces--even when realizing that in this lifetime those dreams will never be lived out--and takes up Someone else's dream instead.
Walk with me to a lonely garden in the middle of the night. Bravery incarnate is weeping alone and begging that this cup that has been ordained for Him be allowed to pass Him by. The anguish of Christ is so great, His agony so deep, that sweat-drops of blood are mingled with His tears. Though He knows that He is about to die the most unjust and horrible death, He also knows that He must trust His Father with the outcome. His Abba will not fail Him, even in His darkest hour. Oh, could I believe that, too?
My Jesus does not want me to do this life alone. Yet I can miss out on the blessing of seeing His healing when I clutch my fears like treasured possessions. He is big enough for my pain, that pain which has the power to destroy me and render me completely useless to Him. He allows me to approach Him at any time, day or night, and sob into His shoulder over the frustration of this fallible mind of mine not understanding what He is doing. What will be my demise is trying to fool myself into thinking I am brave enough by myself.
"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!" Habakkuk 3:18-19 (Amplified Bible)
Jesus, let me be awarded by You for that sort of bravery.