Need Births Bravery

Seems our neighborhood cardinals needed an ice storm to bring out their bravery. Usually I see them feeding only on the ground under my backyard feeder, but since ice covered the fallen birdseed a week or so ago, they were forced to take drastic action. They had to brave the feeder’s little ledges.

Cardinals have trouble balancing on such tiny ledges. It’s easier and safer for them to scavenge for food that drifts to the ground while smaller birds feed. They don’t often land on the feeder. They go straight for the ground. Straight to where they know they’ll find an easy meal.

But on the day of the ice storm, a sheet of ice and sleet covered their fast food. They still scoured the ground for nourishment but evidently weren’t satisfied. Their need inspired bravery. They ventured up to the ledges and hung on for dear life, flapping their wings wildly as they tried to balance themselves. Kudos to the cardinals for leaving the safe confines of their comfort zone to try a riskier solution.

Can you think of a situation in your life when need gave birth to bravery? I’ll never forget the time my mother-in-law’s life depended on getting her to the Mayo Clinic. The plans we had for her transportation fell through at the last minute, and since I was the only family member available to take her at the time, I was forced into drastic action.

I hated the thought of going alone so I talked my then-fourteen year old daughter Kelli into coming with us. So with an elderly woman who could collapse at any moment riding in the backseat and a teenager without a driver’s license riding shotgun, I pointed the car north and took off.

For the next two weeks, I didn’t just step outside my comfort zone, I lived outside my comfort zone. I felt nervous and unsure of myself much of the time, but I had to meet the challenges head on. My mother-in-law’s need pushed me to bravery.

What about the needs in our lives today? Will we let them inspire us to boldness and bravery? Are we ready to take drastic action if that’s what’s called for? Is it time to enlarge our comfort zones? Let’s do it. Let’s allow need to birth bravery.

“. . .‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. . .’” 1 Chronicles 28:20a

*When has a need or desperate situation pushed you to boldness or bravery?


  1. It’s amazing how a loved one in danger helps us step out of our comfort zones and into the vast unknown. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Barb, welcome to my blog! You are so right — when our loved ones are in need, we are pushed to new heights, aren’t we? Blessings to you!

  3. Reminds me of the old story about the frog caught in a deep rut. His friends encouraged him as he tried and tried to jump out of the rut. Eventually they left him there because he simply couldn’t.

    The next day they saw him at the pond.

    “We thought you couldn’t get out of that rut.”

    “I couldn’t, but a truck came a long, and I had to.”

    Sometimes in life a truck comes along and we have to do what we think impossible.

  4. Judith, love that story you shared. What a great example. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Learned something about my new favorite bird – thanks, Cheryl! And what a scary time for you with your Mother-in-law. . .

  6. What a great life application! Isn’t nature a masterful teacher?

    P.S. I have that same bird feeder.

  7. Jana, you’re welcome! I love cardinals, too. They are so pretty and so much fun to try to photograph. And Kathleen, isn’t that a great birdfeeder? I love all the birds it attracts :)

  8. Love your story and a perfect Bible quote to go with it.

  9. While I haven’t always welcomed my “need birthing bravery”, looking back I can see how God used those situations to mature me.

    The need for a change always births bravery in me – the unknown can be a tough pill to swallow on the front side of disclosure. I’m standing there today, but I’m not afraid. Thank God for the strength and bravery that is ours through him.


  10. Susan, welcome to my blog — so glad you stopped by!

    Elaine, change indeed requires bravery. May God continue to give you courage for your current unknown!

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