“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
II Corinthinthians 4:7
DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE FACING CHALLENGES? PERHAPS YOU ARE FROZEN IN FEAR? I CAN TOTALLY RELATE:
For months I strained over how to compile notes and story threads for two hour-long sessions to be presented at the women’s conference earlier this month in Tyler, TX. It was the first time I’d be speaking for more than an hour and I wasn’t quite sure how to go about organizing all the information. I literally had scattered notes covering an entire dining room table. My inadequate organizational skills stared me in the face.. This was new territory for me and a bit scary.
I don’t usually have trouble filling time talking but I wanted my words for this conference to be edifying to the heart and soul of each woman in attendance. I didn’t want to waste time with my own vain babblings. I wanted the precious Holy Spirit to speak through me.
I prayed for guidance. I asked for courage because what I would share was very personal and painful. Simply acting as keynote speaker terrified me if I took my eyes off Jesus. But I remember a song from Audioadrenaline’s 1996 BLOOM recording called “Walk on Water”. The line that repeated in my head is:
“If I Keep My Eyes On JESUS I Can Walk On Water!” Taken from Matthew 14:29.
I had to remember I can do anything HE calls me to do IF I keep my eyes on Him, further backed up by the Apostle Paul’s words to the Philippians in chapter 4 verse 13: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” New Living Translation
I persisted in asking God to help me and little by little as I trusted Him, the presentation began taking shape. Over the weeks in April and May He gave me idea after idea to keep the audience engaged and remain interested. The table in our dining room slowly cleared and actually looked organized with neat stacks of paper.
My husband worked tirelessly on a two part powerpoint presentation involving movie clips and stills. He stayed up late on work nights just to perfect everything into a professional looking presentation. I so appreciate his tech talents.
Just before leaving for Texas, onslaughts of fear and anxiety, dread and depression took turns tormenting my mind and emotions. I had to fight back because I knew the more opposition the enemy threw at me the greater the need was for someone to hear my message at the conference.
I leaned heavily on God’s words to Joshua in the first chapter of the book bearing his name, verse 9:
“This is my command— be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” New Living Translation
And from God’s word in Revelation:
“And they defeated him (satan, the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.” Revelation 12:11a New Living Translation
I had to trust God that He wanted to use my testimony, no matter how inadequate I felt. I had to trust Him and not give in to any fear, doubt or worry. We boarded the plane flying West and the adventure began.
The Pastor and his wife of “The Lords House” in Tyler, Texas welcomed us into their home. They encouraged me with their enthusiasm and I continued in faith.
My husband gave advice and suggestions to tweak the final version which we got to practice once with the sound system at the church. I barely got through it. The near 100 degree temperatures and traveling had left me exhausted. Even my dear husband’s face expressed the same conclusion— it was flat. But I had made up my mind by now that God wanted to use my message.
Deep inside a still small voice assured me all would be well the next day when the conference began.
To be continued. . .
Shine on. . .