I will never speak in public again, I promised myself—and God—and climbed behind the wheel of my car. I was leaving a daylong training where I had been one of the speakers. I had spoken on something dear to me, and my emotions showed. I didn’t want to cry in front of a room full of high school students and professional youth workers. Knowing the sensitive part of my talk was coming magnified my nervousness.
“Do you think I have the power to change you?” I sensed God interrupt my distress.
Of course God could change me. I didn’t understand why He hadn’t.
“Have you ever asked Me to change you?” He continued.
The next thought stunned me, “Did you ever think I want you this way?”
I wiped my eyes, Lord, why would You want me to be like this? I want people to hear the message, not feel sorry for the nervous wreck behind the podium.
God reminded me, His glory shines through cracked pots. Was I willing to expose my cracks so God’s glory could shine? Or was I more concerned about my image?
This was not going like I wanted. I wanted to hear, “Debbie, you will never feel nervous or uncomfortable again.” Instead I heard my weaknesses are part of His plan.
I took a deep breath. Lord, if this is Your will for me, then I submit to it. This is not what I want. But I will accept how you have made me—deep feelings, nerves, and all, but please let them remember Your glory and not my cracks when they leave.
God’s peace flooded my heart. He gave me the grace to focus on allowing Jesus to shine through me instead of worrying about how well I performed or whether my emotions cooperated or not.
Decades later, I still recall this lesson. I ask God to control my emotions when I am going to share on a topic that touches me, but I have grown to accept the way I’m wired.
Ironically, this weekend the young woman who sat next to me after I spoke asked, “How do you do that?”
“What?” I asked.
“Speak to all these people and stay so calm. I want to do that.”
I had to smile at God’s grace. I had been calm, but I had also been surprised at the emotion I experienced in my concluding story. But instead of turning people off, my audience shared my feelings. God used my weakness for His glory.
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me,” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NASB).
How have you experienced God’s grace and power in your weaknesses? What weakness do you want to surrender to Him today? Will you trust Him to be glorified in your weaknesses?
Deborah W. Wilson
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