Today I’m pondering boldness. We all want to be bold, right? Being bold feels brave. Confident. Capable. We respect those who stand up for the weak, take risks for the kingdom, fight giants, and never falter in their faith. No one wants to think of themselves as weak.
I’ve tried to live a bold life of faith. I’ve used my voice for the voiceless. I’ve shared the gospel in my home and in homes for orphaned children around the world. I’ve given sacrificially to help friends in need and to help my local church advance the gospel. I’ve discipled countless women. I’ve obediently served in the spotlights and behind the scenes.
God has asked me to walk risky paths with him and I’ve answered his invitation with a bold, “Yes!” My voice strong, loud, and unwavering.
God said, “I know you’re comfortable living here, but I want you to live in this unfamiliar place. Will you go?” I answered boldly, “Yes, Lord.”
God said, “I want you to travel to Africa and see what I’m doing there. I’d like you to join me in advancing my kingdom. Will you?” My loud voice answered, “Yes, Lord.”
God said, “I want you and your husband to depend on me for your salary and work for a nonprofit. Will you?” It took a little time to work up to this one, but my voice was steady when I said, “Yes, Lord.”
God continued to draw me into deeper places with him. He was in each of these places. I grew braver. Then, one day, God invited me to walk a path that I was terrified of but desperate for. For eighteen months I hoped he would ask me to walk this path. He finally did, and my yes was bold. It was a bold yes for a bold path.
The path wasn’t what I thought. It ended abruptly. Painfully. It ended in loss and heartache. It ended in my confusion. God, who led me down this path, suddenly eliminated it. It didn’t make sense. He asked me to go there. Why would he take it from me?
He had taken all my previous yeses and transformed them into journeys that brought joy and made sense. This particular yes landed me on a collision course. Now he’s asking if I will give him more yeses, knowing that I won’t be able to understand some journeys. That joy will come, but not before weeping.
God reaches out his hand to me. He says, “Christy, will you trust me?” I want to give him a confident yes so badly. I want to be that girl again. But I can’t do it. Not today.
Today, I can only whisper, “Yes, Lord.” Today, I limp to the throne for grace. I can’t shout my yes. I whisper it. My voice is soft. Hushed. Trembling. It’s enough.
My father hears my whispered yes because he is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). The God who hears my cries (Psalm 34:17), hears my fragile yes.
Is my whispered yes still bold? I think so. It’s a brave declaration that I won’t be defined or deterred by my pain. It’s my testimony of his sufficient grace.
I’m so tempted to say no because I can’t answer in the same way I used to. Steady. Loudly. I’m tempted to say no because I’m afraid of where he will lead me. But he sustains. He gives grace. He is with me. In his nearness, there is a sweet confidence building in me that my fragile little yes is cause for angels to rejoice and demons to fear.
Boldness is never about our sure steps toward something. It’s not about how loudly and confidently we can say yes. True boldness is saying yes when we don’t think we can. When we can only whisper it. When our faith lies in him and not in ourselves. When we don’t have the strength and we must trust his strength in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Confidently, we can take his hand in the valley of deep darkness and rely on his presence and comfort (Psalm 23:4). When the darkness is blinding, we can trust in the sweetness of his presence. Come what may.
In his grace, my father has made me weak. Today, I whisper a bold yes to him that boasts of my weakness. My weakness exalts his power in me.
When God asks me to trust him, I pray for the grace to always answer, “Yes, Lord.” I’m thankful that he’s near so he can hear my whispered yes.