I’m not a fan of heights. I’m not really scared of them. I just know how uncoordinated I am, and if I’m perching on a ledge over a drop of any significance I have to take my time.
When I was in high school, a bunch of us went to a fun place that had a ton of barn swings in it. You could sit in these thick ropes and leap off this platform and go swinging into the air across a pit of soft foam. I remember lining up to try it, and when it was my turn, I stood on the edge preparing myself for the jump.
I stood there. Just waiting. Getting myself ready. I was going to jump, but I needed to make sure the rest of my clumsy body realized it. But some of the people I was with didn’t understand it. They thought I was scared—too scared to jump.
And I guess in one aspect, I was scared. That wouldn’t stop me from taking the leap, but I had to make sure I’d adequately prepared before I did.
Today’s verse is Psalm 27:14.
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
My default definition of bravery is someone charging into danger without flinching. And, sure, that’s definitely a mark of bravery. If you can face a scary situation even if you’re scared, you’re a hero of epic proportions. It’s true that bravery is action in spite of fear, but that’s not the only definition of bravery.
I’ve always loved this verse because it reminds me to stop charging and stand still. I’m good at rushing ahead of God. I’m great at putting words in His mouth. But waiting for Him? Standing around until He tells me it’s time to move? That I’m not so good at.
And it occurred to me this morning—sometimes being brave means you have to wait. Action is easy. Just doing stuff is easy. You can engage in mindless activity all day long, but actively waiting is hard work. And it’s scary, because you can’t hide or run away when you’re waiting. You have to sit still and face yourself, and that’s the scariest thing to me, because most of the time I don’t like myself very much.
We tend to think that bravery is rushing in where angels fear to tread, but that’s not bravery. That’s flailing about without any sense hoping that God will fill in the gaps where you fail. And maybe sometimes that’s what we have to do. But that’s not true bravery. That’s taking a chance. It takes a lot more courage to stand still and trust God will work it out.
So the next time you start beating yourself up because you’re standing still, just stop. Remember, just because you’re waiting doesn’t mean you’re not brave. It actually means the opposite.
So be brave and keep waiting. God knows what He’s doing.