When my son started playing baseball, he wasn’t so sure. He was seeking his confidence through some fear of getting hit by the ball. Throwing and catching didn’t invoke fear, but the coach pitching it at him for him to hit left him more concerned about getting hit than he was about hitting it.
After practice one night, he told me that he was afraid. I initially told him what every father since Abner Doubleday has told their sons, “it won’t hurt as bad as you think.” That didn’t work for me any more than it did for countless dads since Doubleday. Later that evening, however, things changed.
I was sitting in the living room when he came walking through and I spontaneously said, “You are very courageous. I know that you’re facing some fear about getting hit and you are hanging in there. I know it’s not comfortable and your courage is taking you through it. I’m proud of you.”
He lit up. There was a thing that appeared to happen inside of him that showed up on his countenance and in his posture. He crossed the living room and gave me a hug. The next night at his first game, he hit well and stood in there without flinching. Same for the next game after that. He was beyond the fear.
We are all afraid. A wise friend of mine told me recently that he told his sons when they were being raised that the only requirement for courage is fear. Without fear, there is no need for courage. Fear is inevitable. Courage is born in the confrontation with the inevitable. If there is one characteristic that I have consistently seen in men, its fear. The degree to which they invoke courage is directly related to the success they have in overcoming.
The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit (Romans 8), and He tells us of the Father’s love. He calls us courageous like He called Gideon valiant despite the clues to the contrary. With ears to hear, we’ll change from the inside out when we step into the truth of the Father’s love.
Transformation requires challenge and challenge uncovers insecurity. Insecurity longs for a Remedy and there is only one Source for the eternal reminder of our courage. Sons need to hear from their Dad that He sees “it” in them and the dad we have is either a bridge or a barrier to the reminders that Dad is sure that we have what it takes. He’s sure because He put it there within us.