I’m currently studying the book of John and all of its goodness. The theme of bravery is everywhere! Just look at the woman at the well (John 4), the diseased man by the pool (John 5), and the man born with blindness (John 9) – after their supernatural experiences with Jesus, they all walk away changed! They begin to tell the world around them that they have been healed and they no longer bear the shame of their past.
Having an encounter with Jesus makes us brave!
And not only brave, but unashamed of Who has healed us! These people knew that being associated with Him might bring persecution upon them by the Pharisees, but they don’t seem to care. They are forever changed. They have a boldness that comes with being made new in Christ. They don’t know what the future holds but they know who they are not:
“I am no longer the woman in hiding, scorned for having numerous husbands that have left me.” (John 4)
“I am no longer the diseased man who sits begging for someone to help me in the waters for healing.” (John 5)
“I am no longer the man judged for generational sin because of my blindness.” (John 9)
And then there’s my own proclamation:
I am no longer the woman I used to be. I don’t know where in the world I am going with Jesus in the future, but I know for certain where and who I am not.
My wounds have become scars.
I AM HEALED.
When I go back and reflect on the moment He healed me, I feel brave. Brave not because of anything I have to give but because I know who I was, and I know what He has done! I know that I am weak, but in Him, I am strong.
Do you remember the joy of your salvation? When you first met Christ? You felt brave, didn’t you? Like you could do anything because Jesus was with you, for you, in you, made you, loves you, cherishes you, saved you; and nothing outside of that could hinder your new peace and your newfound joy.
But over time, we can lose that luster. Our zeal, our bravery, and our faith begins to pale.
It has happened to me.
I am sometimes faced with a reality check of faith where the Lord lifts my chin to gently invite me into an honest dialogue. I start to see that in my heart I have become distant, untrusting, forgetful, stubborn, ungrateful, insecure, hopeless and scared. I am an Israelite through and through. Sometimes I forget that I have everything I need to be brave! That He has never left me. That I am still the same girl He redeemed years ago, but I no longer walk in boldness and confidence. I begin to walk like a wounded woman who has forgotten she is actually healed.
Did you know that scars can have painful nerves? Sometimes I think the enemy does just that. Accusations. Shame. Tinges of pain in places that have been healed. He exposes my past. He remembers my vulnerabilities. And when I do not fight back with the strength and the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I can end up distracted, discouraged, defeated and down.
“Lord! When did I stop feeling brave?”
It was when I neglected to nourish my Spirit with the Truth: that the source of my identity is in Christ, that my purpose is to serve Him alone, and that I can have joy in all of my circumstances.
God in His goodness uses these times in my life to take me back to the trenches and regroup, rest, rejoice and remember the reason for this battle. To fight the enemy with boldness. To remember what wonderful things He has done! To show me how feeble I am, and how mighty He is.
It is In these moments that I believe He says to you and me,
Look at My scars. And by them, you are healed!
Be brave, dear one, for I am with you.
I have summoned you by name, you are mine.
(Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 53:5)