I love engaging my daughter in conversation. She is smart, witty, and asks lots of questions. Sometimes the questions fly out of nowhere, and we catch each other off guard. Sometimes this causes us to laugh out loud, and at other times it causes us to think.
We were riding in the car not too long ago when I ask her, “How do you know that you can trust mommy and daddy?” Maybe I was trying to get into a deep theological conversation, or maybe I was just curious. She said that she trusts her daddy because he works really hard to do everything that he can to support her, and he makes it all look so easy like spreading butter on a piece of bread. To that response, I laughed out loud!
Then she said of me, “You like telling other people about Jesus, you have written a book about Him, and I think that is very brave.” I paused to think. “Wow!” Humbling…
The reality is: Most days I do not feel brave. Sometimes I shy away from writing. I question whether or not I should respond to disgruntle commenters of my articles. I wonder what the conclusions of my convictions and research will cost me when people don’t agree. I can live and rest with whatever comes of those decisions and conclusions.
The reality is: I really do care what she thinks of me, both now and in the future. I sometimes worry that she will not understand or may grow weary of the work and ministry I have been called to. In spite of my prayers, my flaws, and best efforts to disciple and love her well, I think she could possibly grow to resent me and my work. That is a fear. There, I confessed it. That undergirding fear does not make my feel brave.
I am so glad God chose that day to replace my perceptions with her reality. She thinks I am brave, and that is a truth I will hold on to as I tell other people and write about Jesus.
What fears do you face? What makes you feel brave?
When fear overrides our faith, when uncertainties will not allow us to be brave, we can trust God with our future and meditate on these words:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Ps. 32:8
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2015
2 thoughts on “Coffee Talk: On Being Brave”
Terrific and timely counsel, Natasha. Six years ago one of our daughters accepted a prescription that altered her personality and thinking; she became estranged from the entire family. I cannot describe the pain each of us felt with that rejection and loss. Yet, God had shown me in many ways, some of them quite miraculous, that His Hand was on her life, so I know that reassurance in Jeremiah 29:11 remains steadfast. That, indeed, all the scriptures you offer apply to her and to us despite the pain caused by her separation and absence. Sometimes, I slide into grief again; I did last night. Thank you for helping me to “turn around” in my thoughts this morning.
I am so thankful that these words have ministered to you this morning, Laurna. God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Blessings to you, Natasha