When Luke was a newborn, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Dallas. We didn't sleep well in the same room with Luke. He kept making little baby noises that woke us. So, he got the bedroom and we got the sleeper couch in the living room. The sleeper couch with the metal bar that ran right under the middle of my back. For a year. I think if you look carefully, there may still be an indention!
When we moved and got a real bed, we said we would never forget what a blessing that new mattress was to us. But, we very quickly stopped remembering God's gift of a bed and the difference it made. I am so thankful that God is patient with me. There are so many great things He does for me again and again. And, I seem to forget faster than I notice.
Remembering what God has done for each of us is vital to trust and courage. Certainly, remembering that He sacrificed His Son, Jesus. But, also remembering all those other things He constantly does for me.
God's advice when we need courage is to remember what He has done for us, what our eyes have seen. Deuteronomy 7:17-19 is an example: "If you should say in your heart, 'These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?' you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the LORD you God brought you out. So shall the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid."
What do you remember that God has done for you, especially when you needed courage? Remembering these, telling your children the stories, and letting them see God's Hand in small and big will help them trust and have courage. Sometimes we want to insulate our children from the hard times, but the stories of God's provision and care when we follow Him and when things are hard are the stories that they will remember when they need courage.
Two suggestions to help our children. First, step out with faith and courage so your children can see your courage and so you have stories to tell them. Your example, not just in words but actions, is powerful in creating bravehearts. What can you trust God for right now that takes courage?
Second, remember, somehow. We are keeping a bulletin board in our hallway where we stick pictures and notes that help us remember God's care for us. Every time I look, I realize how easily I forget. And, I realize how many things I have probably not noticed or told myself that I would remember and didn't. Maybe you use a bowl of notes. Maybe a scrapbook or a journal. Maybe it is the side of your refrigerator. Our children need to see and hear our stories of faith and courage to begin their own.
Then, help them to find their own way to remember. David remembered that God had delivered him from paw of the lion and the paw of the bear. That memory convinced him that God would deliver him from Goliath. Noticing God's care and power, then remembering, builds bravehearts.