God is doing something new (Isaiah 43:19). Let’s be strong. Let’s be courageous. Let’s not be afraid.
Bravery comes in a variety of ways.
There I was. Sitting on the edge. Paying off my debt to a group of 8 - 5th grade boys. My invoice of losing a game of lightning in super embarrassing fashion demanded a tendering of being “blobbed” into the chilly waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
One big problem: I can’t swim.
21-year-old Tim. Scared out of my mind. What if I don’t hold my breath in time? What if I hit the bottom of the lake? What if I drown? What seemed to be playful trash talk proved to be one of the most anxious memories of my life.
I was a good sport. I walked up what seemed to be the tallest ladder in the world. Plopped onto the big plastic inflatable balloon sitting in the water. Scooted down.
And before I could say “...way”, I sensed myself floating. Up. Higher. Sir Issac Newton was right (in case you ever wondered). Whatever goes up, must come down.
The rush of adrenaline jetted through my veins. The sound of these prepubescent boys giggling because they had just launched someone almost three times their age. And the joy I felt knowing that I had either died and gone to heaven or was alive ready to do it again.
Oh… and thank God for life jackets.
For me, bravery was staring down my fear and anxiety about never really being in water. Questions about water safety raced through my brain. Bravery was doing something I had never done before (or wanted to do before). Bravery was allowing myself to experience something different with a group of other people that brought us all joy (at least, in the end).
Bravery takes trust. Trust that the "other side" of our feelings, experiences, or this life will be "good". Trust that we are not going to be alone. Trust that our life jackets will actually do what they're designed to do. Trust that this whole thing isn't about my ideas, hopes, and dreams - it's about something much bigger... much more divine... much more about God's work than mine. Trust takes bravery.
Could it be that God is asking us to grow in our bravery?
When it comes to our current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 (let’s be honest: we can’t control any of it), I think of my fear and anxiety that came from a place I’d never been before. I mean, how many of you have been through a global pandemic? I think of doing things I’ve never had to do like lead an almost exclusive online church community. I think of allowing myself to experience something different... a new chapter that God wants to write in my story (and yours!).
And whether it is waiting to be “blobbed” in the lake or waiting for re-entry, we have a life jacket. I’m reminded of Joshua’s encouragement to God’s people when they were living in fear and anxiety, invited to do things they’ve never done, and sitting together about to enter a new season, place, and lifestyle. Joshua said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. The LORD is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
That's a great Word to center ourselves on as we move into June.
Indeed, God is doing something new (Isaiah 43:19). Let’s be strong. Let’s be courageous. Let’s not be afraid. Why? Because the LORD is with us every step of the way.
Let’s become brave… together!
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.