Several years ago, my six and seven year olds were having a conversation that went like this:
“You won’t believe what I did?” The seven year old leaned close to his sister, his blue eyes as wide as a monster-truck wheel.
His six year old sister caught the flare of excitement from him. “What?”
“I touched my eyeball. Just like this.” And he proceeded to demonstrate his amazing skill with a little probing for good measure.
His little sister, mouth hung in appropriate awe, replied, “You are so brave.”
We may snicker at this example and think of a time when kids in our memory did something in the same way. A ‘small’ adventure carried the excitement and energy of something as grand as stepping on the moon – and then we’d shrug it off as inconsequential – but in the world of the small, small things are big.
One of the things that amazes me about Jesus is how he sees the needs of our hearts. He knows the ONE thing which will bring us the most joy and comfort (his love), but he also knows what we must overcome to find the perfect path to peace.
He knows the great or the small things that make our spirits tremble and He can provide the courage necessary to surmount the odds.
Do you remember the story of the Rich Young Man in Matthew 19? He came to Jesus and asked how he could receive eternal life. BIG deal, right? Eternal life! And according to the laws of the Pharisees, the man was pretty good at keeping the rules too. He had a ‘perfect’ record. A spotless checklist.
Christ hits him right at his heart. Speaks to that deepest fear with the accuracy only divinity can claim.
Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and follow Him.
The young man leaves sad, because he is very rich. He didn’t have the courage to release the temporal world for the eternal one. His ‘life’ was wrapped in HIS life – instead of a life wrapped in God.
One of the most beautiful and frightening things about Christianity is the truth that we must give everything up to gain everything. We must release our good things (dreams, hopes) as well as our bad things (sins, selfishness) to Christ and have the courage to trust His plans.
Is it easy? Some days it can be easier.
And other days? Not so much.
But the great thing about Jesus is – if he asks us to be brave, he doesn’t just leave us to find our own courage. He provides the opportunity AND the ability.
We are not left without the resources to do the BIG and the small things He calls us to do.
“Courage is not the absense of fear. It is the judgement that something is more important than our fear.” Ambrose Redmoon
(Isn’t that how God sees it too? His love, his strength, the opportunity to serve him becomes more important than our fear?)
(service? love? finding a band-aid?)
People are made of flesh and blood and a miracle fibre called courage. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
That miracle fiber? Jesus.
He displayed the ultimate courage on the cross, so we could pull from His reserves…
in the BIG or the small.