Every year, I choose a word for the new year.
I don’t make it an overly complicated process. More often than not, the word I choose, I didn’t find it.
It found me.
I often choose words that I noticed as a common theme running through my life. Whether I was challenged, or experienced growth, or renewal….often there is a word that I find myself uttering more than others.
I search Scripture for support and hope and what God has to say about that word. Word studies are my favorite.
Brave happened to be a word that seemed to appear at every corner of my life the last few months. It was as though it was a challenge for me to step out of the boxes I had created for myself, or boxes that others tried to place me in. Whatever the reason, the word inspired me. Moved me.
I thought of Joshua, who had the incredible task of taking over as leader after Moses. Can you imagine what must have gone through this head? Moses, who was respected, esteemed, loved, had an intimate relationship with God.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Then Moses said to Joshua:
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8
The magnitude of the task at hand for Joshua. I am sure he was nervous. He did not want to fail Moses. The people of Israel. God.
But be brave means stepping out into the calling God has on you, whatever it is, even when you are shaking in your heels.
I can think of so many other biblical characters who had to be brave when faced with incredible odds:
Mary, the mother of Jesus. Imagine this one with me for a second. An unwed young woman in New Testament times, being told that she was to carry the baby Jesus, the Savior of the world. Y’all..really!!!!
Joseph, Jesus’s earthly father.
Ruth and Naomi.
Friends, being brave and courageous as we walk in faith and hand in hand with our Savior, it doesn’t mean that we know the outcome. It doesn’t mean that we don’t experience moments of fear and doubt and uncertainty. Those callings to be brave……they require faith to step into the unknown while realizing that it is not unknown to God. He knows the way. He knows the steps. He knows the outcome.
It is for His glory. For the good of His people. Our choosing to walk in His will when others whisper that it is not safe or smart or what they would do. But while our commandment is the same, to love God and to love His people, He will direct each of us in different ways in order to fulfill that Great Commission.
It is why He has crafted each one of us with different abilities, gifts, passions, insights, personalities. We are many hands and feet working in one body and choosing to be brave and confident in what He is directing and orchestrating in our own lives. It will not look like everyone else’s.
It should not look like everyone else’s.
So Brave is my word for 2018.
What is yours?