Imagine you’re 3 years old, at the beach, wanting to step into that big blue ocean but terribly afraid it will just swallow you up. You have no concept that you’re daddy who’s standing right beside you can help you over the smallest crashing waves that seems to come up a little too far on your legs, but only appears to wash over his feet. Imagine your mommy leans down beside you and tells you through tears that have formed in your eyes… “Hey sweetie, you have two options today. You can either either sit and play under the umbrella in the sand or you can let Jesus be brave for you and step into the ocean. I know that you don’t have enough bravery of your own, but Jesus has enough for you.” You think “Someone else to be brave for me! I don’t have to have the courage to step into the water alone… surely thats a better option.” And so you step in, you quickly discover that you’re mommy and daddy are right there to hold you… and it turns out to be way more fun than you thought! So, you get a little braver and want to go out further. Each wave that crashes a little higher on you seems a little more exciting than the last.
This is the conversation my sweet friend Maddie told me she had had with her 3 year old daughter, Ruth as we were headed back from a day at the beach earlier this summer. That phrase “You have 2 options… you can either (fill in the blank) or let Jesus be brave for you.” has stuck with me throughout this summer. Last weekend I was sitting at the beach, staring at the ocean, thinking of that conversation. I love the ocean, playing in the ocean, even being pummeled by the waves (at least the east coast, Cocoa Beach size waves). But as I stepped in the water last weekend I found myself a little more cautious, my growing belly making me a little more off balance and the fear of what my belly may hit should a wave take me down keeping me from going further out. Which at 34 weeks pregnant at the time, seemed a wise choice. But that caution is often times how I’m feeling about the months ahead. As our summer project came to a close and I began to look at the next big thing ahead, Sophie’s arrival, I found myself clinging to the truths of that statement Maddie shared with her 3 year old daughter “Let Jesus be brave for you.” I have such joy in thinking of meeting Sophie and such sadness at what may follow in the midst of the hope that God will miraculously heal her. And as we step into this month I’m recognizing even more so just how great a need I have for the kind of courage and bravery that can only come from Jesus. Like a 3 year old standing at the edge of the ocean, I’m standing at the edge of a month ahead that feels at times more daunting than exciting. But I KNOW there are great wonders in store for us that I long to embrace, to step into boldly and courageously. As I let Jesus be brave for me, I wonder what those wonders and joy may consist of? I have no doubt that His courage in Kevin and I will lead us to places with Him, with Sophie that we could never have dreamed of. And I have a feeling that the waves that seem to be so overwhelming, will produce a greater and deeper joy at the bigger story He is writing for our lives as a family of 3 as we choose to step into each wave that comes our way with His courage.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8,9
“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17,18