You Make Me Brave

You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
As Your love, in wave after wave

Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us
You are not against us

My wife and I have been observing the Covid social distancing for about 2 months now like many others in America and around the world. I have gone out to do our shopping and worn mask and gloves for a time, then lately only a mask and lots of hand sanitizer. My wife stayed home until this week when for the first time she came with me to a building supply store.

We have social distanced even with family members and our grandchildren, that’s been the hardest, we have tried to social distance. At first it was easy in a weird kind of way to tell my 8 and 9 year old grandsons they couldn’t give me a hug when I brought something my stepson needed as they came running to give me one. I was just trying to keep us safe, just in case, you know.

A few time my wife and I brought our lounge chairs to family members homes so we could sit under the carport to visit them from a distance but at least in person. Sometimes the 4 year old granddaughter Gigi, or the 8 year old grandson Rocky would say, “I just want to give Nonna, (my wife) a hug and our hearts would hurt. I’d think, “maybe visiting in person is making coping with this social distancing only harder.

On one visit, Vance the 9 year old and Rocky wanted to show me how they could get a fire started with a “fire starter” and their camping hatchet.

ax and rod

At one point the Pawpaw in me took over and I stood behind Rocky, took his hands in my hands and guided them on directing the sparks more towards the tender material. He said, “Pawpaw Tony, you’re touching me” not in a fearful tone but more like amazement. To be honest it felt good, really really good.

My other stepson came last week with his 2 year old boy and he had no clue about not coming by me or my wife. How could he at that age. Even I was starting to have my doubts after twice hearing some troubling thing to consider Biblically.

About a week ago I was listening to Adrian Rodgers on Christian radio. He’s been with the Lord since 2005. His ministry still airs and is called Love Worth Finding. I have many of his messages downloaded to hear again and again. He was a man of God and taught God’s Word from the Heart of God in integrity. Sometimes I just binge listen to him for hours. That day he was preaching about the idols people keep in their life that compete with their relationship with God. He named the expected things, relationships, power & authority, greed & money. But then like out of left field he threw in FEAR. Pastor Adrian said when we let fear of something outrule God’s ability to keep us safe we have made fear an idol over God.

That revelation hurt because I don’t consider myself a fearful person. I’ve faced many storms at sea in my 30 years of shrimping and honestly without great fear. Once, before the days of cell phones, it was so bad I made a vhf marine call to my wife and children because it wasn’t looking to good. It was so rough I couldn’t bring my nets onboard. For hours I made my way towards land for protection. 3 pumps were barely keeping up with the water coming in. I later learned that boards on the bottom of my boat had become unnailed and were flopping on and off in the huge waves when I got to a shipyard. I made the call sound like a normal one to them. I never let them know the danger I was in. I mainly wanted to let them know, maybe for the last time that I loved them. That was the concern of my mind and heart. I really wasn’t fearful as everything in my cabinets poured out, my secured to the wall tv fell to the floor and broke in pieces and the 2 bilge pump lights only flickered off a second or two now and then. My gas pump was trying to pick up the slack. There wasn’t another fisherman around. I was totally alone shrimping in January when only a few fisherman go out. I really didn’t have time for fear to get in the way. Honestly, I didn’t know Jesus like I know Him today. I knew of Him. I went to church every Sunday with my family but I really didn’t “know” Him as I do today. While I was yet a sinner, He poured out His love, compassion and protection over me. He Made me Brave in the face of storms.

Jesus Sailor

I remember in 2015, when after being on paid administrative leave for 7 days, the 8th day was to be the day the faith of my job would be revealed to me. I had spoke up for coworkers that I thought didn’t have a voice and I honestly expected to lose my job over it. I had peace of heart in what I’d done and was ok with the consequences. I never expected to get put on the paid administrative leave and the $3,000 it was worth. I didn’t even expect a goodbye or good luck but I had to say the things that needed to be said.

But on the morning of the 8th day, the day I was to meet with my direct supervisor, our regional supervisor who I had raised most of my accusations against and the Human Resource officer from our corporate office, a strange thing happened. When I awoke after an amazingly good and restful nights sleep, my 1st conscious thought was,

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I was just barely awake when those words filled my mind and I was certain that I hadn’t thought them. The 11am meeting happened as planned. I had perfect peace going to it and even in it. I was told I was going to keep my job and so was the man I brought many accusations against, go figure. My job ended 4 years later when our company sold our oil field to someone else last July 2nd.

I said all that to make a point. God does not want His children to live in fear. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

We should exercise caution, use prudence and wisdom but not from a fearful mind and heart.

Recent Torah portions have been about when Israel sent the 12 spies into the land and 10 came back with a bad, FEARFUL, report. There were giants in the land and we are like grasshoppers to them in our eyes. Does that sound a little like “there’s a big bad virus out there that’s gonna get us if we go out or what?” We need to remember that 98% of people survive this virus. It isn’t a death sentence to get this virus. The media has taken this and has been fear mongering it to death. They didn’t do that for Aids, H1N1, the Swine flu or the common flu that takes on average 60,000 lives in America each year. Why this one? Have you ever asked yourself that or Googled it to find out?

After Pastor Adrian put his troubling thought in my mind about letting fear become an idol superior to God, I heard someone else raise the same point just days later. They too were saying that if we are not careful we can let fear become an idol. A fear that says, “this thing is bigger than the God who goes with me.” Any Christian knows God isn’t happy with us having any idols lesser or greater to Him in our lives.

So Wednesday our states governor said we would be entering phase 1 of opening our state. And on Wednesday my stepson and daughter in law asked if we might want to watch the 3 grandkids so they could attend the church choir practise. My immediate answer was yes, a hearty brave YES!!!

So yesterday they came over and watched cartoons and played on their tablets while my wife prepared supper. I was working outside so I didn’t talk to them a lot but some. After supper we all took turns taking baths and I ran to the store for ice cream while waiting my turn. One wanted Cookies and Cream, one wanted Vanilla, the other Butter Pecan. I got all 3, I like the number 3 in case you didn’t know. There was one more ahead of me when I got back home so I sat on the sofa with Vance while Rocky was playing Youtube Christian videos on our Roku tv then this one played,

It’s of a young girl facing what could be an intimidating circumstance at the blackboard in front of the class. But she walks up to it BRAVELY!!!!

As Your love, in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You made a way for all to enter in

I have heard You calling my name
I have heard the song of love that You sing
So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore
Into Your grace
Your grace

As Your love, in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You made a way for all to enter into

‘Cause you make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the promises you made

The video of children playing, my grandchildren near me, the words of the song and thoughts of allowing fear to become an idol I never wanted brought tears to my eyes. 2 months without receiving or expressing close contact love for my grandkids. It was time to remove the mask from this covid fear thing and trust God, Just Trust God!!!

After my bath and icecream with the wife and kids we acted like there had never been a virus pandemic or social distancing. We played board games. My grandsons sat on each arm of my recliner and we watched videos of fire starters and camping tools. The older was showing me all the tools of his leatherman and where he had cut his finger with the knife while playing with it. It was all healed. Our bodies are “Fearfully and Wondrously” made by our Awesome Father God.

Then the 4 year old grand daughter put in her request for pancakes since I do the breakfast meals. She also wanted some tickles and just wanted to lay on my lap and play with pawpaw like we used to do without thought before the covid thing came along.

You know, I have been very careful not to complain to God about the covid thing and how it’s affected my life. I surely don’t want to be like the murmuring and constantly complaining Israelites, more water, I want quail, I want cucumbers and meat who God refused to enter the promised land.

I actually thank God often because except for feeling robbed of quality family time I really don’t have it that bad. It really grieves my heart for families without a job, living on handouts. Also for those who may lose homes and businesses because of this. But only recently did I realize and consider that this covid thing could become an idol of fear in me. I could wrongly let Covid place a shadow of fear over my Dear Heavenly Fathers Lovingkindness and protection over me and my dear loved ones.

God still teaches us important lessons from the eyes of children. We would do good to remember that we “aren’t so grown up” from Father God’s eyes. We are still little children to Him, His children at that!!! If some day I too catch and succumb to this Covid thing and stand before Jesus, I don’t want to hear Him ask me,”Why Did You Fear? Didn’t you believe my Word? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I am ALWAYS with you.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for removing the mask from my eyes and making me brave again in the Mighty Name of Jesus.

LOVE, not fear, WILL Win Out in the end.

From today’s devotional reading, DailyPlan : one-year-tract : 2020-05-16 #Bible https://www.mydailybible.org/dp/esv/one-year-tract/2020-05-16.htm

1 Peter 3:13-15 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

It’s time to wrap this post up. Rocky just got up and it sitting on the arm of my recliner for some “me time” with Pawpaw. Have A Nice Day!!!

3 thoughts on “You Make Me Brave

  1. Thank you, really love the insights especially this pandemic broght to us globally. On this crisis, there are a lot of oppotunity. Showing the love that Jesus taught us. The law and governance even demand love, love our fellows as we love ourselves.

    Indeed, Many people have been facing confusion, uncertainty, fear, and even the feeling to hold back amidst Novel Coronavirus 2019 or NCOV19 or COVID19 pandemic. This prompts people of seeking comfort on divine providence of the Bible, heavenly intervention and the like. But, “what does Jesus Christ Say about Coronavirus – COVID19 Pandemic?” Learn more at https://iseodigitalcontent.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/what-does-jesus-christ-say-about-coronavirus-covid19/

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    1. I read your post, “What Does Jesus Christ Say About Coronavirus” and you made 2 excellant points that seem to be spirit lead instructions.
      In the last 10 days I faced a situation where God took away all peace, I had none, even spent 3 sleepless nights. Because of having “no peace in God” for it, I felt lead to “Hold Back.” I couldn’t allow myself to be drawn into the situation. I turned my phone to airplane mode. I told my wife, “no one will listen to what I have to say and the only one I want to hear from is God. I’m praying God speaks to those concerned because they won’t listen to me.”
      On the 7th day, yesterday, God revealed to me why He had “Held me Back” from being joined to something He has no part of. God had answered part of my prayer and had spoken to some of “the concern.”
      When all this started 10 days ago and I began to feel the loss of peace I thought, ” I wrote a post only a few days ago about having Perfect Peace and mine now seems so distant.”
      If God takes your peace it’s for a very good reason.
      The 2nd point you made that I feel was inspired was this statement,
      ” Remember that you have been graced by His power, the art of love and compassion. This is Jesus Christ’s wake up message especially for Christians to take the best interest common to all as a part of your own conviction – without sacrificing your own best interest and the love for the welfare of others. You can overcome #coronavirus abound the same love and compassion of being a joy-giver, maximizing the digital content and information technology, sharing your own resources to your fellows who are in need as much as you do.”
      We have been “Graced By His Power,” in that the Holy Spirit is with us and in us to teach and lead us in the way to proceed in “situations” that arise from the left fields of life, like this corona thing.
      We need to not only feel or hear the Holy Spirit’s direction for us to go in but also walk in it even when we didn’t understand why yet. In God’s timing, He just might reveal the “why” you were lead to “hold back” and not sacrafice our own self interest.
      I pray Numbers 6:24-26 blessings on you and yours till we meet on the other side.

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      1. Thank you as well for recognizing my efforts to reach out to humanity. Likewise, and let us turn this crisis into a Godly opportunity. With the advent of new technology these days, we can postively influence our fellows to harvest the fruits bestowed upon us from the seed of following Jesus Christ. My family, to you, we always pray for forgiveness of our sin and peace in earth. Until then! Keep Safe!

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