Hello, reader, it’s Tera! It feels SO good to be writing again on here after being away for a bit! The girls of Oak and Earth took a small break over the holidays to enjoy some family time that was much needed, but we are back and excited for what we have in store for 2016 (one thing being that we want to post much more frequently)! I hope you and yours shared some special times over the holiday season. With that being said, what better way to start off 2016 -and this week- on O&E than with a little devotional?
My initial thoughts for this devo were sparked by one of my favorite songs right now (“You Make Me Brave,” by Amanda Cook). The lyrics are powerful and beautiful, and as of late, have really resonated with me. You would be doing yourself a great favor by checking it out if you haven’t heard it yet!
In this song, she sings about how the Lord makes us brave. In one line she sings, “You make me brave, You call me out beyond the shore into the waves.” When I first heard the lyrics, I loved the power that was behind them. I pictured myself in the vast world of unknown future, taking long strides and doing things that I am only capable of doing with His help and through His grace. How true this is! But one Sunday morning, we sang this song at our church. It was a Sunday that would lead to a week of anticipated anxiety, and was sure to surface some pretty sensitive and wounded areas of my heart. This particular Sunday while we were singing this song, the lyrics took a whole new meaning to me, and it hit me. The lyrics became deeper for me when I realized that the Lord does make us brave, in more ways than this daydreamt adventure!
He doesn’t have to call us on a grand journey in order for His power and love to make us brave. He certainly can and does sometimes, but taking a giant leap of faith into a sea of unknown is not the only prerequisite in order to be capable of being very, very brave. God makes our love brave, to love even the people in our lives who are the most difficult to love, to be a good friend, to have a heart of compassion for others. He makes us brave in our strength. To fight for our marriages and hold on even in our marriages’ darkest seasons, or to stand up for our faith unashamedly, (the list goes on). God makes us brave in our insecurities. Whether it be our body image, our fears of acceptance, our fears of not being enough, our lack of a higher education, our jobs…[insert insecurities here], we can say “I love myself. I am beautiful. I am enough just the way I am.” He makes us brave in our shortcomings, to take it day by day and say, “Today, I want to be better than I was yesterday.” He makes us brave so we can forgive– even the ones who never ask you for your forgiveness– to have a freed heart and a cleared conscience by saying, “I forgive YOU.” God makes us brave in our circumstance. When we feel so unsure of why we are going through a situation(s), when we want to get out of our rut(s), when we don’t know who we are fully and we wish we had the answers…He makes us brave to embrace this season, to learn from it, to know that it will not be forever, and to trust that He is always at work behind the scenes. And He makes us brave in living out our purpose. Maybe He’s called you to be a homemaker, maybe you teach, maybe you are taking that huge leap of faith in a new adventure He’s called you to, or maybe He has you somewhere right now to prepare you for what your purpose will be in a few years. Whatever it is, He makes us brave to fulfill our purpose with love, grace, and with happy hearts, even when it feels mundane, tiring, and hard. The capacity we have to do these things is so grand when we rely on God’s abilities rather than our own. Because of God, our love stretches, our strength endures, our self worth shines, our shortcomings do not overcome us, our forgiveness is limitless, our circumstances we face teach us and encourage us, and our purpose fills us. Because of God, in God, we are brave.
2 Cor. 4:7 “We now have this shining light in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
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