Sweet, encouraging Becky and I connected through a writer’s group and when I was blessed to guest post for her Brave Women’s series. I love her words here about standing still in wait for God’s plan. Courage in the stillness.
A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Except I did.
An online community I am a part of opened up team positions for writers, and naturally my heart said YES. I jumped in my chair, took a deep breath and started filling out the application. “We’ve got this,” I whispered to God. Meanwhile, I noticed a silence on His end. I thought it was somewhat odd for our relationship, but I managed to keep myself busy and push forward, giving myself mini pep talks along the way. The day before the applications were due, the Lord interrupted my swirling thoughts with a single word.
I stared at my screen. Was He serious? Hopefully I misheard Him… He hadn’t said NO, but it definitely wasn’t a YES. My spirit slowly began to sink at the thought of letting this possibility go. I wanted it. It would be a dream project. And Him putting a pause on my plan made absolutely no sense. “But why God? I know these people. Relationships have been built. It seems like the right time to me.”
And so, with confusion as my friend, I did one the bravest things I’ve done all year. I closed my computer and surrendered my hands.
I think it’s fair to say… we humans like to define courage by our own terms. Words like diligence, grit, and achievement make us feel strong. We like to get things done. We like to believe we are moving forward. But standing still – waiting for God’s answer or trusting His puzzling guidance – it doesn’t feel brave. It can actually feel foolish. Personally, I’d prefer being pictured as a warrior rather than a waiter. I’d rather take control and put myself out there, instead of slowing down and listening to God’s leading. I’d rather look for promising situations, instead of waiting for God’s promise.
But as it turns out, our kind Father has a different definition of courage, and it includes eternity’s perspective. God sees the heart behind our bravery. He sees what it takes to remain still and have faith in His ways. A couple of days after I chose to “wait”, I asked God for some confirmation that I hadn’t missed my chance. As my fingers flipped through the Bible, they landed on Ephesians 6, a classical passage used to encourage God’s kids in the midst of spiritual battle. But this time something different jumped out at me.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…” (Ephesians 6:10-14 NIV)
Dear Reader, do you see it? When God repeats Himself, you know it must be important. Out of all the things He could ask His Sons and Daughters to do, one thing sticks out among the rest. And it isn’t to fight or fret or strive our way through life’s trials. Instead, our mighty God wants us to STAND. Four times He invites us into this powerful posture – a position built on a foundation far above human logic or strength. Here we stand on holy ground. Here we encounter the full character of our providing, protecting, pursuing God. Here we recognize who He is, what He’s done and how He’s come through. He’s made us His own. He calls us by name. God chooses our hand-picked races and promises to empower each step. We are overcomers. We are thrivers. We are glorious victors.
But we can’t run if we don’t know how to walk.
And we can’t walk unless we know how to stand.
That’s why God emphasizes this stance in the midst of life’s battles. Remaining firm in our Jesus-given identities affects every life decision and action we will make. If our feet are placed on Christ’s solid ground, nothing will be able to shake us. And nothing will be able to break us.
When the enemy comes at us, we stand.
When the world comes crashing down, we stand.
When we don’t understand why or know what to do, we stand.
Because standing isn’t weak. Standing makes us strong. It reminds us we are loved. It helps us gain true confidence, both in ourselves and in our God. We don’t always have to be forging forward in order to make our courageous mark. Let’s lay that unhelpful myth down. Our God is positioning us for His ultimate best. He is parting the path and moving the seas. We can trust we are right where He wants us to be.
Together, in the stillness of His faithful presence, we wait. Bravely.
Becky Beresford lives in Huntley, IL and is happily outnumbered by her husband and three wild boys. She is a writer, dreamer, certified life coach and speaker with a Master’s Certificate in Discipleship from Moody Theological Seminary. Becky loves encouraging God’s Daughters to embrace their holy worth and live life fully loved. When she isn’t at the keyboard, you can find her dreaming of sandy beaches, serving mamas in church and hanging with her people. She would love to connect with you online at www.BeckyBeresford.com, where you can grab a FREE copy of the Brave Woman Manifesto: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. (Or you can click HERE). Feel free to follow her daily adventures on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.