Sometimes the best expression of courage in found in waiting. Why you may ask. Because when you know what you should do the decision is simple; to do it or not. When you are told to not do it, the decision is the same, to do it or not. But when you are told to wait, the decision is neither to do or not and this can be difficult for people who want to make the decision one way or another. They need to be in control of the outcome and even if they make a bad decision, they feel it is better than making no decision at all. They feel that taking action is displaying courage when it fact it may only be revealing impulsive uncontrolled behaviors.
I found this wall plaque years ago and the meaning behind the words still ring true for me today,
"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
When facing a bully
The Bible says that God answers our prayers with three answers: Yes, No, and Wait. This is a time where we should not be rushing to action based on an emotional reaction to the jibs and poking of negative commentary designed to excite and incite. Hurtful and harmful words can make one feel like they are being bullied. Think about it... Are those inflammatory words creating in you a desire to lash out and fight? Now, think about how you reacting to their words plays right into the hands of the bully who intends to harm you. If you are angered at what you are hearing and want to raise your fist toward them, do they stand back and use your anger against you as proof of how you are "out of control"? And aren't you out of control? Exactly. This is a war tactic often used where one insults another and they end up in a battle. The one who threw the first punch is punished and the bully walks away feeling more powerful because they have beat you. Even if you win they still feel empowered because you took the bait.
I experienced this bullying first hand as a child when my younger brother would seek me out in my bedroom and for no reason would hit me. Of course, I would run after him ready to get "pay back" only to catch up with him as he slid behind my mother screaming that I was going to hurt him. My mother then would punish me for "picking on" my younger brother. He would sit out of her eyesight snickering his pleasure as I (the true victim) was punished. When I learned to stop playing into his ploy and locked my bedroom door, his abuse stopped. Well, not stopped but it took a different tactic as I wasn't playing the "game" anymore.
Jesus showed us how we should wait when he went to the cross. He knew he would suffer at the hands of others for crimes he did not commit, but he also knew he would rise in 3 days more powerful than before. This is the example we should follow as well. Imagine, if all the anticipated attacks across America were empty hands raised to God what would the reporting be? If no one showed up at the Capital how would those who are preparing for battle respond when the battle never came? What would the headlines read as those armed for battle stand against an unarmed army of prayer warriors who never left their homes?
Sometimes we are told to go into battle. Sometimes we are told that battle is not ours and God goes before us. Sometimes we are told to wait and watch. Today is a time to wait and know.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”