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A Brave Heart.
A Courageous Heart.
I love the explanation of these words from the Random House Dictionary: BRAVE is the most comprehensive: it is especially used of that confident fortitude or daring that actively faces and endures anything threatening. COURAGEOUS implies a higher or nobler kind of bravery, especially as resulting from an inborn quality of mind or spirit that faces or endures perils or difficulties without fear and even with enthusiasm.
Except for that whole “without fear” part. I’m NOT a fearless heart. In fact, I am often stunned by my fear. But because I hold to the promise that Jesus Christ has my back, I will rise to the calling to stand on the front lines or pray in my closet, to feed the hungry or be fed myself, to offer grace to the hurting or seek healing for my own wounds, to be His hands and feet, or to simply sit at His feet.
He has given me the desire to champion the wounded, partly because I know what it means to feel so utterly alone in my despair, and partly because there are so many walking wounded living on the edge, where champions are few and far between. I continue to learn what it means to receive grace – to fall into grace – and if I have nothing else to offer, I can pour into the lives of weary warriors a measure of the grace that He gives me.
A Braveheart, to me, is one who is CALLED to action, who steps out in COURAGE, and who follows through to COMPLETION the task he or she has been called to do or be.
A Braveheart is one who has been on the front lines, who has survived the devastation of war, and still returns to the battlefield to bring home the wounded.
A Braveheart is one who stands for those who cannot stand, who speaks for those who cannot speak, who holds up the arms of the weary, who offers hope to those who have lost their way.
A Braveheart is one who isn’t afraid to bleed, and who doesn’t hide their scars, because each of those scars is evidence of God’s grace.
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Here I am, wanting desperately to be used by You, to serve in Your army. I ache to know when and where and how You will put me into action. I feel like a new recruit, zealously polishing my sword and oiling my armor, my ear tuned to hear the one word from Your lips that will send me out. I can’t sit still – I’ve worn a trench in the earth beneath my feet.
Then suddenly, there You are, striding toward me in all Your glory. I duck my head, unable to hold Your penetrating gaze; my heart races and I can hardly breathe. You are coming for me. I am ready.
But no. Once again, You reach for my flask and fill it full. Once again, You press a warm loaf of bread into my clammy palms.
“Eat, my precious child,” You say. “Drink. Rest now. Shore up your strength, for you will need it when your time comes.” You smile gently at my crest-fallen expression.
Wait! Just hold on a wee, little second. You can’t possibly mean it, Lord. I’m a Braveheart. I am a warrior! I’m ready to go! Ready to fight!
Did You hear that? I even have my own war cry! But You want me to sit around and do nothing? Eat, drink and… and rest? Just what am I supposed to do with this sword and armor that I have worked so hard to acquire?
Yet even as the words burst from my mouth, I know in my heart that it is my human nature wanting to charge ahead, to take action, to do something.
You reach out and remove my helmet, tucking a wayward strand of hair behind my ear. “Consider this,” You say. “The battle belongs to Me. I am already victorious.”
And then You whisper this promise: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to Me, and stop your silly efforts to save yourself. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on Me…” Isaiah 30:15 (The Message Bible)
And so I put away my sword and armor and come sit at Your feet. There I find rest while You nourish my soul, my spirit, my body, and my oh, so BRAVE HEART.