I take deep breaths in and out, trying to calm the rapid pulse of my heart. It’s no use. My hands shake as I rummage through my purse for lip gloss, trying to silence the voices of defeat. Every five seconds, I look over my shoulder for my husband. Where is he?
When the worship band begins playing, I focus on the words.
Holy Spirit you are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Yes, God, yes. Your Spirit will get me through the next five minutes in front of a sea of faces.
I’ve committed to giving my testimony to our church congregation that morning, but as I watch person after person pour into the sanctuary, thoughts of self-doubt and defeat create an endless chatterbox in my mind. What was I thinking? I’m not a public speaker.
What if my story doesn’t resonate with people? What if my voice cracks and trembles?
I down an entire cup of water in between songs and look around for my husband again. He still isn’t there.
If I were a soldier, I would be the last person chosen to fight. But God doesn’t choose the worthy. He chooses the willing. Even when we stand in the face of doubt and timidity.
I’m reminded of the mighty warrior, Gideon, who isn’t so mighty the first time we see him. When an angel of the Lord appears to him, he doubts what the angel is telling him. When the angel gives him an assignment, he doubts his ability to do it.
At this point, surely the Lord will punish him or give the mission to someone else, right? One would think so. But that is not what God does. He is incredibly patient and understanding.
Gideon asks him not once, but three times, for assurance that his charge will be successful. Instead of becoming angry or frustrated, God fulfills every request.
Then Gideon said to God,
Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece…That night God did so. Judges 6:39 NIV (emphasis mine)
Gideon goes on to defeat an army that is described as being, “as thick as locusts,” riding camels that “could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.” Judges 7:12 NIV.
Not only does he defeat them, but he does it with an army of only three hundred men. Three hundred men against an uncountable number of men.
That Sunday, as I sat trembling in my chair, I faced an army. But the army was not in the physical realm. I faced arrows of discouragement, self-doubt, and nerves that threatened to destroy me.
Do you know what God did? When I stepped out in obedience, he exchanged each arrow with assurance that he was there. He gave me confidence when my husband finally came in and grabbed my hand. He gave me calm as I stood in front of the congregation and a brother in Christ nodded his approval.
With each “Amen,” and “Mmhmm,” my nervousness eased away. And I was reminded that we do not serve a God who is quick to anger or turn away when we doubt.
We serve a God who reaches out his hand in love and says, “I’ll go with you,” as his Spirit carries us through the fire.
Today, if the arrows of doubt won’t stop, will you come before the throne of grace and seek his mercy? He will not turn away in anger or shame you with disdain.
He will wrap his mighty arms around you and shield you with his grace.
It’s #RaRaLinkup time! Click on the blue frog below to link your encouraging post on the NEXT PAGE. Let’s encourage each other and be encouraged. I’m excited to read your posts today!
1. Link up your inspiring & motivating post with the button below.
2. Feel free to grab the Kelly Balarie & Friends button to display on your blog.
3. If you don’t have a blog, leave your cheerleading encouragement in the comments.
4. LEAVE A COMMENT ON THE POST LINKED UP RIGHT BEFORE YOURS. Visit others & be encouraged!
Let’s lift him up!
Also, join our #RaRaLinkup Facebook page here to share prayer requests, encourage your writing sisters, and receive encouragement: RaRaLinkup Prayer Community.
*I’m also linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday.