Doing hard things can be…well…it can be hard.

Have you ever been in that place where you know you need to have a conversation with someone but you shy away because it’s going to be hard? Have you ever been in that place where you know that you need to do something, act with some kind of conviction and clarity, but you shy away because you know it’s going to be hard?

Me too.

Passivity runs deep in my bones. Shying away from doing or saying hard things is easy for me. I’m not proud of it. I don’t like it. But it’s true. It would be easy to blame someone else. It would be easy to make excuses. The truth of the matter is there are days when I shake like a leaf in the autumn breeze.

I don’t think this timidity is a matter of indifference. It seems to be an issue of courage. Perhaps fear. A lack of faith. But friends, God’s not done with me yet. I’m learning how to speak up. I’m learning how to step up. As a husband. As a father. As a pastor. I’m learning, by God’s grace, how to show up. And friends, when I show up I have discovered a life-changing truth: Somebody is there waiting.

Jesus teaches us in John 15 He is the vine and we are the branches. Our aim is to remain or abide in Him. When we, by faith, lean into Jesus—He does a good work in and through us. Or in Jesus’ words, we bear fruit. That means we walk by faith, not by sight. It looks a little like Peter, with eyes fixed on Jesus, stepping out of the boat and traversing over the storm. A hard thing? You bet. But when our faith-filled eyes are looking to Jesus, there is courage to step into the hard thing.

You can’t control the outcome. But you can show up. God is there. He gives grace to the humble. He gives words to speak. He brings insight, clarity, and understanding. Stay soft and abide in Christ. The Spirit will nudge. We love because God first loved us. May that Calvary-love move you to the same sacrifice to love the world around you. One practical way you can love today is to show up.

Is there a courageous conversation waiting for you? Is there something you’ve been avoiding because fear of the unknown has gripped your heart? Friends, I want to encourage you to show up. Step into the conversation. Keep your heart soft and humble yourself. You are not alone.

May the words of our mouths and the mediations of our hearts be pleasing to the Lord, our Rock, and our Redeemer. Amen.

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