What does being brave mean to you? Does it mean overcoming a big fear and facing it head on? Does it mean choosing to do what's right when everyone else is doing what's wrong? Does it mean walking through fire while everyone watches from the sidelines in the cold? Or is it a mix of all three? I would normally say it's the first one, overcoming a big fear and facing it head on.
The dictionary defines the word brave as "ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage." For me, one of my fears is telling someone who's hurt me how I genuinely feel. It may not necessarily be a dangerous moment, but it's a moment that takes a lot of courage for me to do. It requires me to be brave, something that I usually am not, but have gradually grown into.
Lately, I've noticed God really working in my life and teaching me more and more about His grace. I'm usually a forgiving person, but I hit a limit when people take advantage of it. It's a moment where I should be extending grace, but it's something I fail to do. When you're rolling with the punches from people around you, it's not always easy to buck up, do the right thing and give grace to others. If anything, it's even harder.
I had a moment in my car recently where I just sat and prayed,
"Thank you for another day Lord, but I am weary. I am trying to focus on you, but it's really hard for me right now because I have notttthing left to give. Can you please give me something??? ANYTHING?"
Then it hit me. It was as if I was guided almost instantly and I'll never forget this. I had been listening to "Hosanna" by Hillsong when something in me just made the connection to look up Hosanna Poetry's Spotify page. I saw one of her pieces listed, "Flex Your Brave" and was compelled to listen to it. You know when you listen to a song and the words just resonate with you? That's exactly how I felt when I listened to this. It was as if God knew exactly what I needed and led me to this exact piece of poetry to give me words of encouragement. (Also, thank you Hosanna Poetry for letting the Lord use you as an instrument for Him)
So what does "Flex Your Brave" mean? After listening to this piece a few times, I'm realizing that flexing bravery means to stand tall when you want to crumble. It means letting Christ work in you when you are weak from the wounds caused by people around you. It means giving grace to others even when your flesh fights against. It means remembering how God sent Jesus to the cross to die for our sins as an example of how God continues to forgive you in all circumstances.
Jesus was the perfect example of bravery. When the people rallied against him before his death and wanted to crucify him despite of all the good he tried to do, he asked God to forgive them. He endured the pain of it all, yet he still continued on and still extended grace in between hits and jabs from the people around him. He suffered a lot and yet here we are...imperfect followers of the Lord who are still loved by Christ himself. We've done nothing to earn it, but are still given it.
So why is it so hard for us to do the same with others? I think about how we're made in the image of the Lord, yet because sin is born within us, we are faced with the daily battles of life to either live for God or turn against him. It's difficult to do the right thing, but God is stronger. If we continue to exercise our hope and faith that God will help us handle whatever comes our way, our muscles of bravery will continue to grow stronger. Our passion to extend grace to others will become evermore present in our lives.
I think Hosanna Poetry says it best, "Don't let the world take away your brave!" I've been repeating this in my head and I realize that I can't depends on the world, but only God himself. People will hurt you, lie to you, ridicule you, use you, blame you, tear you down and pick you up just to tear you down again. And although I could easily do that right back to the people around me, I refuse to be part of a cycle. I'll let God take care of it and extend the grace to others just like it has been graciously extended to me. I will carry on and flex my brave.