This morning I read the current Bible study that I’m on in Marybeth Whalen’s book: For the Write Reason. At the end of the study she used Psalm 96:3 as a focus point for the reader to ponder on. In this focus point she stated that…”There are two ways to declare His glory and tell of His marvelous deeds.” Those two ways were publishing (writing) and telling (speaking). As the one doing the Bible study I was to focus on my weakest area of the two and give it to God, in prayer, asking Him to provide opportunities in my area of weakness. That is a hard thing to do, to ask for opportunities in an area of weakness. The normal pattern is to run away from weakness, not to it.
You maybe wondering what mine is? And…drumroll…please…Rata tat tat…my weakness is in speaking. No big surprise for those who know me. Probably anyone I went to school or college with would most likely agree.
And…so it made me remember back to an awkward time in my life…
In public school I would absolutely cringe when my teacher would assign an oral book report or poetry recitation. For this shy little girl, the thought of getting in front of my classmates, opening my mouth and having all of their attention focused on me filled me with horror. If there had been a school for shy kids I would have been first in line to attend.
That same fear followed me not only into high school, but to college. I think if I had known that studying Architecture included having to present my projects in front of class I would have run the other way, never to look back. You can say that public speaking of any kind was my biggest weakness and my biggest fear. What didn’t help was that I would blush both on my neck and face which, of course, proclaimed to all that I was absolutely frightened and nervous. I hated that. From my point of view I knew what their eyes saw and what their whispers said. On the inside I wanted to cry, wanting more than anything to hide… somewhere. I would beg God to take my fear away, to stop the rush of heat from the red blush marks as I felt it rise up on my face and neck. I felt like a target of ridicule and shame because I couldn’t get myself together enough to speak confidently, and oh, how I wanted to stand there as though I were self assured and confident.
Years later God would ask me to place my fear aside and speak in church. It was hard. I had to be vulnerable again before people as I shared my story of pain, tears and triumph over the loss of my infant daughter, Abigail Grace. Since it was such a personal and emotional story, the part of me that feared getting up and having all the attention focused on me wanted to fly far, far away, but God said that it was something I had to do. Why? He had given me His story to tell through the eyes of a mom who had struggled, cried and then rejoiced in spite of the pain of loss. It was His sufficient grace that allowed me to reach beyond myself to share the pain and the joys that my husband, Billy and I had experienced. Our story was the testimony that God had indeed walked with us during our darkest hour. He was always there and never left us alone, and that was the message people needed to hear.
Today, it is still the message that people need to hear. That is why I’m doing what I have to do. Get that? I HAVE to do it, because He wants me to and I want to! On that Sunday several years ago when I shared Abigail’s story, God gave me a taste of what speaking His Glory felt like. On that day He relit a flame that He had placed inside of me years before. I had chosen to cover up that flame because I let fear rule. I always had a hope that one day His call on my life would resurface. And yes, by God’s grace, it has. God could have said enough, no more tries, but I’m thankful He didn’t. He is not done with me, nor is He done with you.
You, my friend, have something God has laid on your heart to do. Like myself, you may have let fear gain a stronghold over your life, but you can tell fear to flee. Fear can have a firm hold on us, but only as long as we allow it to. If you know Jesus, then you are under His Blood and under His authority. Let God be God over your life. Let Him be your everything. Let Him Sing a NEW song into your life. Afterall, He has given you a NEW song to share.
“Sing a new song to the LORD!
Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!
Sing to the LORD; praise His name.
Each day proclaim the good news that He saves.
Publish His glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.”
Psalm 96:1-3 NLT