The next time a strange male voice says, “you’re brave . . .”, I will think twice before proceeding.
Kids waiting in the car, my fourteen year old and his sister, I ran quickly in the store needing two ingredients for soup. You know how that goes; once inside the grocery store you always think of a few more things to grab, since you’re already there and . . . they’re on sale.
The emergency broadcast system alerted us that a storm was approaching, as we left my son’s school a few minutes earlier. Onward to the store and then home before the storm kicks into high gear. Inside Kroger’s I gathered up what I needed, plus a few extras, and zipped through self check-out. The wind began to blow and the rain, pouring down.
Through the automatic glass doors I saw a few people standing, waiting with carts full in the entryway. My cell phone ringing, knowing it was one of my kids, I thought I better just run towards the car. Myself and another woman headed out, as I stepped forward I heard a male voice say, “You are brave women.” I thought, “You bet I am sir, I can do this – just watch me go.”
The mighty force of wind blew bitter and hard, the heavy downpour of rain turning to hail kept coming. My solid dash slowed at the parking lot edge. I froze still, my umbrella pushing out, the wind too strong and the cold . . .; I heaved to breathe. Soaked from hair to water-filled tennis shoes in an instant. What row was my car in anyway? The wind so strong. I could have waited, I should have waited . . ., I learn to wait.
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Spotting our SUV and switching aisles, meant lifting and tugging the cart up over the cement divider and pushing onward through the weather; I was finished. My bearded eighth grader ready for wet adventure, met me at the trunk; barefoot, inches deep in water (new tennis shoes off so they would not get ruined). Elated to grab the water filled grocery bags, stacking them fast inside, water spilling over and proud to help his mama, this man-boy pushed the cart to the cart corral – my hero. I collapsed into the driver’s seat and slowly breathed in the warm, soothing air.
My daughter said, “Mom, are you ok? I tried to call you to tell you to stay inside the store until the storm calmed down, but you didn’t answer the phone.” Yep, next time a strange man says, “You’re brave!”, I’ll reconsider. The forceful storm subsided into a quiet, consistent downpour of rain, the wind slowed and I took notice. Being brave is good, being brave and wise is better.
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There are times you answer the call, speak peace, and breathe; waiting out the frenzy of the storm, trusting it all into the hands of a God who can. Bravery is not always plunging forward, reacting in haste. Bravery can be waiting and trusting; and in the waiting and the trusting, by-passing the bitter part of the battle. It’s brave to wait, letting God take over, he KNOWS when the whirlwind will dissipate – just wait.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (James 1:5). God loves to impart wisdoms to us, helping us when we ask; our job is to listen and follow through. The follow through can be the waiting, short or long. Waiting in a grocery store for the heaviest part of a winter storm to pass or waiting on God through a raging “life storm”. Yep, being brave is good, being brave and wise is better!
Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD (Psalm 27:14 ISV)!
Thanks for joining me on the journey,