Making Me Brave

wasp redI sure do love summertime! But I sure do NOT like the wasp invasion that comes along with it! Recently we’ve found ourselves killing at least one wasp a day in various rooms inside our house! It almost makes you afraid to go to sleep at night or, at the very least, afraid to go anywhere without a flip-flop handy. A few weeks ago, though, I broke down and invested in some serious wasp killer spray. I even splurged on the name brand- that’s how dire our situation was! This stuff shoots fairly accurately up to 20 feet and kills the wasp almost instantly! Now when one of the girls squeals over a wasp in their bedroom I’m able to charge in and take care of things. I am fearless in the face of these demon insects! Wasps beware! I am armed and dangerous!

 

The other day I read the story of Elisha & his servant who were surrounded by an enemy force. The servant was overwhelmed and afraid, but Elisha faced their adversaries with confidence. When the servant questioned his master’s boldness, Elisha asked God to open his eyes to the supernatural. Suddenly the servant was able to see the source of Elisha’s bravery: the mighty host of heaven’s armies were surrounding them! The source of Elisha’s faith was vastly greater than the source of his fear!

“I can live without fear when the Source of my faith is greater than the source of my fear!”

I am working to move from living a life of fear to living a life of faith. One of the best ways i can do this is to recognize the spiritual battle that is going on around me. My enemies may be overwhelming me, my situation may be a struggle, and fear feels like a natural response. But if I can focus on the supernatural, look past the physical to “see” the spiritual, my response can be one of faith because “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!” I can face things that used to scare me because I know that the Source of my faith is more powerful than the source of my fear! The Word of God is living and active in my life, and I have no need to fear because I am armed and dangerous!

 

What are you fearful of today? How can you let God make you brave?

Reach Out & Touch Someone

“You know what’s different about volleyball from basketball?” our 13-year-old daughter asked after practice the other day. “All the touching!”

Apparently, this team is very intentional about encouraging and supporting one another. After every mistake: every missed serve, wild pass, flubbed set or blocked spike, the entire team surrounds their teammate with a flurry of high-fives, shoulder pats and side hugs. The gym is filled with cheering as the girls encourage their teammate to “shake it off,” “you’ve got this,” & “keep going.”

Lady Rams 7th grade Volleyball

Lady Rams 7th grade Volleyball

Our daughter normally plays basketball, so this volleyball phenomenon is new to her. On the basketball team, when someone makes a mistake, there’s just no time for intentional encouragement. The team might huddle up during a timeout or give a high-five during a free-throw, but for the most part the support comes from the coach while the rest of the team scrambles to make up for the mistake.

As I watched the volleyball team surround my non-touchy daughter with touchy-feely love, I couldn’t help but compare it to ministry. As a pastor’s wife part of my role is to encourage and support people who are trying to live their lives for Christ. But when I see people make a mistake or stumble in their walk I have a tendency to just give a quick shout of encouragement while I scramble to cover for them.

But what if I took a cue from the volleyball team? What if I stopped what I was doing and became more intentional in my encouragement? What if I took time to give a hug, be a listening ear, or offer a word of encouragement along with the gift of my time?

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone drops the ball from time to time. But we’re still all on the same team.

LORD, help me to see the importance of intentional encouragement. Open my eyes to opportunities to build someone up even in the midst of the busyness of life. Help me never be too busy to reach out and touch someone in need. I know our team will be much stronger for it!