Fear…I was asked to speak at a women’s meeting at church not long ago and as I began to prepare I asked God what He wanted me to talk about. As I stared out the window (I do that sometimes when I talk to God, look up at the sky…), it wasn’t long before I felt God tell me ‘Fear’. Not a problem, I thought. So I started by looking through my bible for verses on fear…that was the easy part.
I had about a month to prepare so with all of that time, I was very eager to bring a relevant message to the women. I prayed often and read my bible, but nothing was coming to mind. I was just staring into a big black hole. Normally I get some ideas quite easily and put them together for a nice talk. Day after day I prayed… and thought… and stared…nothing. I was beginning to see the real fear that I had within myself. It is a fear that probably remains to this day, that I am still working out. I have a fear that if God asks me to do something that is beyond me and I go out to do it shouting with my arms raised, into battle, that I will turn around and God will be no where in sight. I’m afraid God won’t back me up. Now, mind you this has never happened before…God has always been there. Most of the fears we have are not rational, especially when they are fears about God missing the mark. I kept asking God what He was doing. I was doing everything right so where was He.
So the time came and I went to the meeting with a half dozen verses and an example of fear in my life. God said to me as I walked in ‘I knew who was going to be here when I told you what I wanted you to speak about’. It gave me only a little comfort. I got up to speak and started crying because that is what I do when I get emotional and I blame it on my mother (she does the same). I did everything you are not supposed to do when public speaking. I repeated myself, rambled, apologized…it was embarrassing. And as we stood at the front of the church singing some praise and worship I complained to God. What did He think He was doing? I wanted to make a difference. I did everything I could. I held up my end of the bargain, so where was God with His. Then the lady next to me put her hand on my shoulder and said ‘that message was for me, can you pray for me?’ So I did, and when I finished I looked up and saw many of the women there with tears streaming down their faces, God was working at getting rid of fear in a lot of those women. One woman even said she was driving there in the morning asking God what the deal was with fear.
God was gentle with me. There were no ‘I told you so’s’, just a quiet pat on the back. He understood, somehow.
I realized something important that morning…or was it a few days later…funnily enough it didn’t have to do with fear. God showed me that He doesn’t need us to be the best at what we do with great gifts and talents…all he needs us to do is put up our hand up and say ‘use me’. And He always shows up.
1 Corinthians 2:1-4 (NIV)
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirits power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on Gods power.