I was scheduled to speak at the eleven o’clock Sunday morning worship service at a church hosting a Women’s Day Celebration. Even though it was a “women’s day”, there were men, women and children in the congregation, just like any other Sunday.
I have to admit that even though I love being a speaker, the thought of preaching at Sunday morning worship seemed a step out of my comfort zone. I felt the enemy lurking, trying to trip me up, and cause me to stumble in my delivery or my words.
You see, I had been struggling with a cough and cold for two weeks, and wondered if I would be able to get through my message without having an uncontrollable coughing fit. The fear of that happening left me feeling apprehensive, concerned, and unfocused.
I tried not to listen to the faint lies that he was pouring into my head – telling me, reminding me, confirming my worries – that I had absolutely no business standing in the pulpit on Sunday morning.
After all, that is the preacher’s spot – you know, the one who spent years earning master’s degrees, graduating from seminary, and learning the Bible like the back of their hand. The one who is more qualified than I will ever be.
I even secretly wondered why I had been asked to speak at this special service – and for a brief moment, secretly regretted accepting the invitation. Was I qualified? Was I good enough? Was I worthy? My head resounded the answers – no, no, and no.
So I prayed. I asked God to smooth my throat and heal my cough. I prayed for him to calm my fears and remove my apprehension; to drown out the voice of the destroyer who wanted to keep me from sharing the message God had given me; and to simply use me to make a difference in some small way.
As I walked on stage, and began speaking, I immediately felt His presence fill my spirit. I stood in front of all those peering faces, with a renewed purpose, and allowed Him to lead my words until the message came to a close – without a single cough. Then I closed in prayer, and returned to my seat.
A few moments later, I saw a young man walk down the aisle, talk to the preacher at the alter and exchange some hugs as we prepared to sing a closing hymn.
After the service was over, I received many kinds words and hugs, all of which were much appreciated – but nothing compared to the words shared by that one young man.
One young man who had been dealing with difficult circumstances and addictions in his life, but had recently come to a place of healing. He had overcome his problems, and although he still felt broken and unusable, he also felt God was calling him to be a youth minister.
The story began to unfold as his fiance came up and introduced herself, with eyes flooded with tears. She thanked me for the message I had shared, and said it was exactly what her fiance needed to hear. Then the father of that young man approached me, tears flowing, sharing how God had spoken to him and his son that day; and his mother followed suit.
Then, I came to face to face with the young man everyone was talking about. A handsome, clean cut, young man, who felt broken, unworthy, unqualified, and not good enough to serve a Sovereign God.
A young man who had listened to the discouraging lies of the enemy for so long, that he had come to believe that he was nothing more than damaged goods, and as a result, had been afraid to say yes to God’s call. He had allowed his past to define him, and had hesitated to believe that God could ever use him – until now.
My heart was so full. Overflowing with excitement, yet stifled with humility. Apparently, the words that God put in my mouth that day were exactly what that young man needed to hear. We were both at the right place at the right time – just as God had planned.
God had been preparing us both for such a time as this.
God did not need me to get that specific message across to that man, but He allowed me the privilege of being a part of His plan, and the blessing of seeing His divine intervention.
What an awesome reminder that God orchestrates every detail of the lives of His children. He meant what He said in Jeremiah 29:11, when He promised us all a future and a hope, and a plan for our life that He destined just for us.
What we think is a small step of faith, could end up being an opportunity for life change – for us, or possibly for someone we touch. We just have to say yes, and leave the rest to God.
Oh how I pray that when I feel God speaking to my heart, that I will listen to His voice, and drown out the enemy’s voice with a loud, booming faith.
How I long to follow Him, without worry, without question, and without hesitation.
We just never know what amazing miracles God may be orchestrating behind the scenes and in the hearts of others. If we trust Him, He just might let us get a tiny glimpse of Him at work – and it will always be a beautiful sight.