By Gail Peo
I’m here today to share how God’s Word has made me a woman of boldness. I began my life in the 1960’s in a small town in Nebraska. I was #6 in a family of 9. We lived in a 2-bedroom house that also had three dormer bedrooms upstairs. AND, we had one bathroom!
My personality was peaceful, but when the bowls of mashed potatoes and gravy passed by, I took my share, because I knew it was not going to make a second round. My “alone” time was taking the record player out on the patio to play band marches at top volume.
I came to know the Scriptures attending church activities 3-4 time/week. We moved to Lincoln when I was in 5th grade, and I went on to complete high school in LPS. I relished the powder puff football game in high school. This is where the boys dressed up like cheerleaders and the girls competed in flag football. Again, my natural boldness became evident. I wasn’t afraid to plow through those other girls. I wasn’t afraid of anything, or so I thought . . .
Then in a Young Life meeting in ninth grade, a visiting pastor presented the gospel in a way that I understood and the Scriptures came alive to me. I realized that I was a sinner in need of a Savior.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
It was nothing I did. It is nothing I can lose. That is the beginning of boldness found in Christ. After high school I got married. (Yes, I was a young bride.) I was anxious to begin married life. My boyfriend was 7 years older than I and about to embark on his legal career in another state. We moved to the East Coast, then to the West Coast. I had no fears of being away from home, or of driving on the CA freeways, or of attending college at 3 different campuses.
Three-and-a-half years later we returned to Nebraska. At that time, through the recommendation of a Navigator’s Study, I started regular, personal study of the Scriptures, which we called “quiet times.” We were trained to read the Bible until we found something to remember, write down, and take with us for the day. That became my daily pattern, one I still try to maintain.
Our family grew to include three children by the time I was 28 years old. And my bold facade began to erode. I thought I had to raise my children with bold confidence, making them behave so I would look good. I was a demanding mother with wrong motives. That’s when I realized that I didn’t always “get it right”–that you can’t always tackle problems with sheer boldness. I needed love, grace, and gentleness.
This is something I learned anew this past semester as I taught Galatians. My research led me to Free Indeed, the written study taken from Bryan Clark’s sermons on the book of Galatians. In teaching Galatians 6:1, he said, “gentleness . . . basically means strength that’s been brought under control. It’s used in the first century to describe a horse that has been broken to be ridden. The horse still has great power but the power’s now under control.”
Gentleness isn’t weak, or lacking power. Gentleness is power under control. His power, not my power. Boldness comes from letting God’s power shine through my life. Now, when I struggle, I am not afraid to ask for prayer.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “. . . My grace is sufficient for you, for power is
perfected in weakness. . . . Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with
insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
You can see I was a bold woman by nature. I hope you also see that God’s Word has made me a different kind of bold woman. The truth of Scripture has given me HIS kind of boldness which is gentle confidence–confidence that doesn’t have to be harsh or controlling. It’s gentle because His Word is sure and powerful. I can expose my weaknesses because then I reflect His strength.