Friday, April 27, 2018
Devotionals for the Heart: Be Brave
A devotional by Gail Kittleson
Many heroes stand out in a crowd as muscular, brash, and egotistical. They can do superhuman feats, it seems.
The Olympics, though, highlights true heroes and heroines who enter their race with integrity and humility. Their tears when they win—or when they don’t—testify that they’re in this for reasons of the heart.
A hero or heroine displays courage, bravery or self-sacrifice for some greater good in the face of danger or adversity.
Joseph, a wealthy man who had a great deal to lose by choosing to support Jesus, qualifies as an unobtrusive hero. This member of the Jewish Council and a secret disciple of Jesus, watched for the kingdom of God. He appears in all four Gospels, and his act of burying Jesus in the tomb he’d prepared for his own body garners our attention.
In order to accomplish this feat, Joseph “asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission.” (John 19:38 ESV) Nicodemus helped him, and we can imagine the two of them carrying their load to the tomb. They’d witnessed Jesus’ wise dealings with the Pharisees and Sadducees, heard His teachings, and in spite of their fear of retribution from the powers that be, they believed.
The burial of Jesus catapults them into heroism. They had every reason to slink into the shadows with the rest of Jesus’ disciples, every reason not to do what they did that night. The High Priest’s henchmen were about, scanning for followers of Jesus.
But in a quiet, thoughtful way, Joseph and Nicodemus completed their work of love. A few women paid attention, and risked their lives, too, revealing their devotion to the Savior.
Let's pray: Help us, Lord, in our everyday challenges, to display courage like your servants, Joseph and Nicodemus.
When Gail’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit of her 1940’s novels, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors.
She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband like to spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim.
Favorites: spending time with grandchildren, walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.