Back in May, I was listening to the beautiful voice of a woman who was singing the national anthem at the Kerrville National Day of Prayer. When she came to the last line of the verse, she belted out, “O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
As I have thought about those words, I have thanked God for the privilege of living in a place where we can enjoy many freedoms. We are free to worship wherever we want, free to assemble to pray, free to go into business for ourselves, and the list goes on.
I have also focused on the last five words of the verse, “the home of the brave.”
For some reason, those words keep reverberating in my head.
I asked Siri the meaning of the word brave. As an advective, it means, “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.” As a noun, it means, “people who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.”
These words accurately describe our country’s military, and I want to say a big “thank you” to all of you who have served our nation and are currently serving the United States of America. You are brave.
I had to ask myself, “how ready am I on a daily basis to face life’s difficulties with courage and bravery?”
What about you?
Our nation was founded as the home of the brave; therefore, we should be comfortable with being brave, just like we are comfortable being at home.
We also have a God-given right to walk with courage, knowing God is right there with us.
I recently had my own opportunity to be brave. A few weeks ago, I kept my grandchildren so my daughter and son-in-law, Mallory and Rob, could attend a wedding. My grandson Truett is 5 and has Type 1 diabetes, which basically means we have to constantly monitor his blood glucose and give him insulin, as his body does not produce it.
Fortunately, there is a device that is attached to his arm and is linked to a cellphone, so it is easier to monitor and see his numbers.
Mallory and Rob are modern-day heroes, as there is much that goes into caring for a child with diabetes. I have tried to learn everything I can over the past three years since his diagnosis so I can keep him at times.
At 5:30 they left for the wedding, and I was on duty. The kids were so excited about their time with Mama Max. We went swimming and were having a great time, when I realized I could not see his blood glucose numbers anymore. The device read, “sensor error.”
I tried to call Truett’s parents to see what I should do. They did not answer.
I took a deep breath, quickly said, “Truett, I need to do a finger poke to check your numbers.”
I hated sticking his little finger to make it bleed.
“OK, and then can we get back in the pool?” he replied, in a cheerful voice.
I pricked his finger to draw blood and manually get his blood glucose level, only to discover, he was 18 points low, which meant I needed to act quickly to get it back up in the normal range.
Again, I tried to call his parents. No answer.
Then, I remembered the words of the national anthem, “home of the brave.”
“Lord, please help me, I cannot let anything happen to this child on my watch,” I prayed.
As a teacher, I know children key off the emotions of adults. I had to keep calm and figure this out.
I tried to contact his parents again. No answer.
I recalled a scriptures I had recently read, Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
Ezra 10:4 states, “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
I could not afford the luxury of panic, I had to be brave. I was going to have to constantly manually monitor his numbers and make adjustments to keep him in the normal blood glucose range.
Several hours later, I finally got in touch with my daughter. They were in a location that had no cellphone service.
Truett’s fancy monitoring devise had failed; however, Truett and Ellis had a fun-filled evening with Max.
I was exhausted by the time my daughter returned, but thankfully, remembering the words, “home of the brave,” kept me steady in a challenging situation.
None of us know when we will be thrust into things beyond our control and where others will depend on us to be courageous and brave.
As we approach our nation’s 243rd birthday, let me encourage you to look at your challenging situation in the face and be brave, just like those who fought for our freedom.
You and I are fortunate to live in a country that is the home of the brave.
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Beginning in September, she will lead a Bible study at the Kroc Center called, “The Gathering: Bringing God into Everyday Life.” You can register for the event and reach her at email@example.com or visit her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com.