It has been a long while since I’ve seen a Disney movie! Ok, maybe not that long, I did see the animated version of Robin Hood not too long ago. The girls have grown up leaving the nest quite empty, and there hasn’t been much demand for anything Disney!
While I’m not very well informed on the new batch of Disney fairytale movies, I heard a song from one of them recently. I believe the movie is entitled “Brave,” as is the song. I really like music, all kinds of music, even opera (thanks to our eldest daughter). Lyrics have always been an important ingredient for me in enjoying most songs. I read the lyrics as I played nearly every album, 8-track, cassette, and CD I purchased. And with the song “Brave,” it was a lyric that grabbed my attention.
“Show me how big is your brave.”
Right out of the starting gate came the questions, “How do you define brave? What does brave look like? Who determines what’s brave, who is brave, or who isn’t brave?” So, I went back to the handy-dandy dictionary to see what or how the word Brave is defined.
Brave: adjective: feeling or showing no fear, not afraid
Full Definition: 1. having or showing courage <a brave soldier> <a brave smile>
2. making a fine show colorful <brave banners flying in the wind>
3. excellent, splendid <the brave fire I soon had going-J.F. Dobie>
Does that help? No? It didn’t help me either! Mostly because many of the brave people I know were brave when they were trembling in their boots, shoes, sandals, or their bare feet. Being brave is doing the right thing when you know you’re very likely going to be creamed, hammered, have your block knocked off, or otherwise know the brave thing is not going to be the most pleasant thing you have ever done! There is also the unknown factor, in other words, the result of your brave deed which is currently unknown! These are the who, what, when, where, why, and how consequences which we know will come when we choose to do that which is Brave.
“The steward searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.” “What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied “How can we plead? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed your servants iniquity. We are now my lord’s slaves—both we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.” Genesis 44:12, 16 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Joseph and his older brothers receive most of the press coverage in this most amazing story of Grace and Forgiveness. There is, however, another person in the room. Benjamin. He stands accused of stealing a priceless silver chalice. The consequences for this act are declared as follows: he can be enslaved, killed, or placed in prison. Anything the man on the throne wants to do to him will be done. And as he kneels trembling before this most powerful of men, his mind spins. He wonders what could possibly happen next. “Show me how big is your brave.”
I’ve read several different opinions speculating on Benjamin’s age. Was he born before Joseph was sold into slavery? Maybe he was born after Joseph’s mysterious disappearance. What I’ve learned is that, although several people juggle dates and speculate on an age, no one is absolutely sure. What we do know is Benjamin was born, his mother (and Joseph’s) was Rachel, who died giving birth to Benjamin. After Joseph was gone, Benjamin became the Golden Boy.
Well, the Golden Boy is in for it now! That silver chalice was found in his sack of grain, and how it came to be there was a mystery he desperately wanted solved. His life depended on the truth being known! He certainly knew he didn’t put that silver cup in that sack. Why were the Egyptians trying to frame him for something he didn’t do, especially the one who seemed to know all about them? What was going on with all these accusations? The powerful man knew things about his family a stranger had no business knowing! Was it really about his special silver cup and his divination? Then Judah really put his foot in it when he admitted their guilt!
What was Judah going on about? Judah knew they hadn’t stollen anything, so why admit to something they hadn’t done? Especially since it was something Benjamin hadn’t done! Just what was Judah thinking, or was he thinking at all? Why was his big brother throwing him to the wolves? “Show how big is your brave.”
Then Judah began to speak on behalf of Benjamin. When Judah admitted, “God has exposed your servants’ iniquity” (Gen. 44:16 HCSB), what could that mean? What was Judah admitting? He knew they had not stolen anything, not the payments, not the special cup. They were innocent of those accusations. Then, what could Judah be confessing?
Judah was confessing to an event 15 to 20 years in the past, an event he and his brothers relived every day of their lives. As Benjamin stood there accused of a theft he didn’t commit, Judah couldn’t allow another brother to disappear. “Show how big is your brave.”
There were three groups of people in the room. One was wronged and longed to forgive and be reunited, reconciled with his family. The second were those who perpetrated the wrong and had been in guilt, needing forgiveness. The third was innocent of all accusations present or past and watched, wondering and incredibly confused by the whole reunion. This was a reunion that was not supposed to be possible, because Joseph was dead!
Benjamin has heard the story from his father, the story concerning the disappearance of his elder brother. However, no one else, especially the brothers, talk about Joseph ever. So how can this Egyptian Ruler be his brother Joseph? And if he is Joseph, what is he doing sitting on an Egyptian throne as the second most powerful man in the land? And if Joseph is the second most powerful man in Egypt, what exactly is he going to do to Benjamin and his brothers? Because it doesn’t take a genius to realize there is a story here and it’s not a happy story.
If Joseph isn’t dead then how did he get Egypt? Why did the brothers lie all these years about what happened to Joseph? What exactly happened all those years ago when one brother vanished and the other brothers swore their missing brother had been destroyed by a wild animal, returning with a blood stained coat-of-many-colors as proof of their story, as evidence to the truth. “Show how big is your brave.”
Forgiveness is a very familiar word. We learn about forgiveness; we are taught about it in childhood. It is a lesson we are constantly challenged to learn. We are taught to forgive, learning that in giving forgiveness we live a happier life. We are no longer “handcuffed,” bound to the one who has caused us pain, wronged us. What about receiving forgiveness?
I believe most of humanity has no idea how to receive, to accept forgiveness. We live our lives waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, we have been forgiven, but where, what, when, and how do I pay? We know we always have to pay, because nothing is free, right? Yet, everything in that room in Egypt several thousand years ago had its cornerstone in forgiveness, both in giving and receiving. “Show how big is your brave”
That’s still true today. If we can’t give forgiveness, we can’t receive forgiveness. And if we can’t receive forgiveness, we can’t give forgiveness. The only way I know to stop and get off the merry-go-round of forgiveness confusion is to seek God’s Grace. You can read books on how to forgive; there are several really good ones. However, I haven’t seen any on how to receive forgiveness.
How do I accept the gift of forgiveness when it is offered? Especially when guilt and shame are accomplishing their acts of terror. Is it possible that until I am able to believe in God’s forgiveness, receive His forgiveness, I won’t be able to take in any forgiveness? Only God can remove the sense of guilt and shame that blocks any ability to be covered by God’s healing Grace. It is this gift of healing—the gift of forgiveness—God offers us, and we in turn as disciples of Jesus are to offer to all. I know for myself I am unable to give this gift without Divine Intervention. There are some wounds that go far too deep. There is scar tissue thick and tender, needing the gentle touch of the Comforter. And there are some wounds which will need to be lanced, cleaned, and allowed to begin to heal so forgiveness can even be considered. What I do know is God’s Grace is all about giving us what we need to live full lives here. And He is the only One who can change anything in us. “Show how big is your brave.”
My brave isn’t very big, about the size of my faith, which Jesus said was like a mustard seed. I’ve seen mustard seeds and they are tiny little beggars! Therefore if my brave and my faith are tiny little seeds what do I do? Well, I ask Jesus to place them in His Brave and in His Faith, that’s the only place put them. That’s why Grace and showing how big is your brave fit like a glove, at least in my mind! Because Grace makes Brave happen as I stand in God’s armor, as God fights for me every time! Let’s face it, standing when the enemy is charging is not easy! That’s why we have the armor, so we can stand complete in Jesus as God fights the battle that is His alone to fight. And that’s why we can show brave every time! Just remember, it’s a process of Grace lasting a lifetime! Enjoy the Brave of Grace!
“Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid of them and don’t be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 New Century Version
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