Barely Brave Enough

Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it.”

Mark 5:32

I wish I behaved a bit more like my Biblical heroes.

And by a bit, I mean a lot. In several ways.

It can be easy to forget that our Biblical heroes ever struggled with God’s directions. That their faith and confidence in God and His ways was born of time tested truths formed through intimate relationship with Him.

That their faith and confidence in God, which sent them into lion’s dens, fiery furnaces and chaotic crowds making bold declarations- did not know it all.

They had no idea what He was doing.

And that was okay.

They would (potentially) be eaten. They would burn. They would be executed.

But they would not bow. They would not worship a false image, or even pretend. And they would not be silent.

From the Old to the New, the Bible tells stories of people facing impossible opposition and seemingly hopeless situations.

And in some of those situations, against varying opponents, Biblical heroes were delivered. Lion’s mouths were closed, furnace flames were unable to singe and prophetic voices were heard.

However, in other situations, deliverance did not look the way the world would view as victorious. Believers were sent to Nero’s circus, Followers were sentenced and executed and Christ was crucified.

All of this to say, I sometimes wonder if I am brave enough to do all the things that could one day be required of me.

… Specifically the things I think I’d most definitely rather not, because our God is all wonderful and great things… however He is not a God who respects human concocted comfort zones…

Anyways, as I sometimes wade the waters of a seemingly life/ identity crisis, such as the one I seem to recently, continuously, be finding myself in- I turn to Him.

In hopes He’ll show me the map while simultaneously thankful that He does not. … Lets face it… I’d probably be terrified.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure it is a glorious plan.

However, often, this world enlists a spirit of distraction- taking my eyes off of His assistance, presence and ability and turning it toward a list of all the ways in which I am undeserving, unqualified and really in contrast to the task- quite useless.

In an act of exasperation or desperation or probably both- I sat down with my Bible one evening- having no idea where to turn.

So in true end of the line style- I just flipped it open and started at the top, praying that one of God’s Biblical heroes might speak to me, that Jesus’ words would meet me.

That they’d tell me to take heart, be of good courage, fearless and uncompromisingly confident.

The Biblical hero I met encountering Jesus though, sounded a lot more like me than… well the others I had been meditating on.

Tucked in Mark 5 I met a woman who had just been barely brave enough.

Barely brave enough to reach for the hem of Jesus’ robe… with a faith so set- so determined- Jesus noticed.

Not only did Jesus notice, He looked for her and then kept looking for her… “Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it.”

He kept looking, to see her.

This woman seemingly so brave and full faith though, did not step forward easily.

But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” Mark 5:33

Alarmed, frightened and trembling.

I would say that her words were probably not eloquent.

Clearly her tone was not steady. And I would bet she stammered and stubbled a bit.

Regardless, she clung to something bigger than she was. She held on to what hope and faith had strengthened her to reach out and touch His hem, knowing that in doing so she’d break the law.

Herself considered culturally “unclean” purposefully touching another, a teacher, one decidedly above her situation.

He could have publicly humiliated her, had her ostracized and punished.

She had no idea what He would do, how He would react- but we can be sure she knew exactly what He could do, how others would react.

That day however, barely brave enough, was more than enough.

She reached out. She told the whole truth. And Jesus restored not only her physical health but spiritual peace.

Her frightened, trembling, truth filled words were met with blessing, restoring and affirming words.

In summary the two things which caught and comforted me, that I wanted to share:

  1. Jesus kept looking, to see her. She was frightened and probably a bit perplexed- she knew what she had done and what had happened… but what next? She had just done something culturally “wrong,” and may have been falling away towards a sense of guilt. Jesus was not looking for her who had done it to accuse her or humiliate her. He was looking for her who had done it to affirm her and assure her.
  2. Moving forward in His direction and according to His purpose frightened, trembling and alarmed- is a viable option. Even if our faith is only barely greater than our opposition, it can move mountains. It will move mountains.

Needless to say, I may not always be as brave as I want to be- but I will always be brave enough.

And so will you Friends.

I pray that at the end of the day our actions and words will mirror those of “her who had done it” – her who had shakily reached out in great faith, her who Jesus kept looking for and her who though frightened was just barely brave enough.