Brave

Brave.

Braveheart.
The Atlanta Braves.
Land of the free, home of the Brave.

What images and thoughts come to your mind when the word ‘Brave’ is mentioned?
Perhaps an independent act of heroism.  Maybe it is someone who went against the grain to do what as right.  It could be the underdog overcoming great odds to defeat the evil giant.
Those are some ways that I would have answered that question a week ago.
But something my son Nathan said at Kings Island on Thursday, altered my perspective.
As we were climbing the hill for the biggest ‘kid roller coaster’ in the park, the Woodstock Express (formerly known as ‘Beastie’), Nathan grabbed both my hands and in a timid yet confident voice said, “I am brave because I am holding your hands Daddy.”
Think about that.
At first glance, that seems to be the opposite of ‘brave’, doesn’t it?
But listen again to my son’s heart and tone.  He is assured that he is safe by holding on to his Daddy.  He has utter and supreme confidence in the fact that I love him and will protect him at any cost.  In that little 2-seat coaster car, he has no fear of flying out or going anywhere because I am physically bigger and stronger then he is.  I will keep hold of him and keep him safe.
Nathan is brave because of who he puts his trust in.
We can be brave too.
Psalm 121 captures this same sentiment.
           “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
         where does my help come from?
            2 My help comes from the Lord,
           the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—    he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

We are not brave when we can do something on our own.  We are brave when we put our complete trust in a God that is so much bigger than us, and truly wants what is best for us in every area of our life.
So I have a questions for you.  Are you ready to be brave?