I may be a farm girl, but I despise mice! Maybe it's their quick and sneaky ways, but the little creatures hold a power over me that is not at all proportional to their size!
It was a warm fall day on the farm, and a niece from the city had come to help us collect tarp coverings from bee shelters in the field. The pollinators had done their summer's work, and the harvest was in progress.
Things were going well until the realization struck that mice had taken up residence in the tarps we were pulling in. Thus, you could find me yelling from a distance for niece Trudi to "be brave!" as I left her to do the initial investigation for the vermin on her own.
We have chuckled many times over my cowardly call for bravery on her part! But isn't that the truth of it in so many aspects of life? We want others to be brave enough to do things we feel incapable of doing. We love books where authors are honest; we cry tears at their words because we empathize with their pain. It makes me realize that anyone who writes to encourage their readers can't just call from their corner of safety for others to pen what they are too afraid to put into words. Writing takes bravery, as our best words are often written from vulnerability and pain.
Paul reminds us of this when we read, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV.
I don’t know where the notion came from that Christians won’t have trouble in their lives, as this verse clearly states that we will. But it also says that we will receive comfort from the God of all comfort when we experience difficult times. There are many dips and curves, valleys and deserts as we navigate life. Still, because we have felt the gentle hand of the Saviour comforting and giving us courage and strength, we can also share God’s comfort with others going through similar valleys.
Sharing personal pain exposes our weaknesses but highlights the power of what God can accomplish despite ourselves. It takes bravery to be honest, but in our authentic words, others can find hope and comfort as we share the comfort we received from our heavenly Father.
God wants to use your story as a testament to His love and restorative power. With His help, you can find the strength to be brave!