Let's face it--I'm terrified of public speaking. During the few weeks before an event questions batter my mind. Have I thoroughly prepared? Is what I wrote what God desires me to say? Will the Holy Spirit use my words to reach the hearts of the listeners? Did I insert enough humor and interesting anecdotes to balance out the substantive parts? What if the ladies get bored and nod off? Or walk out? What if no one comes?
Mind you, I'm no newby--been speaking at ladies events for over four years. After so many successes, I have a collection of thank you notes and encouraging feedback, which assures me of God's faithfulness. The Bible promises He will be faithful. Take Lamentations 3:22-23, "...for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
But will He speak through me THIS time? I realize this doubt makes no sense. The character of God is unchanging. He's never vindictive or spiteful (so my failures and worthlessness will never influence His faithfulness) and He promises to equip those He calls. 1 Thessalonians 5:24, "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it."
Despite a profusion of faithfulness-promises in Scripture, a load of fear, doubt, and insecurity woke with me early on the recent morning I was to speak at a ladies' tea. I reviewed my notes and scribbled a few last minute additions and deletions. Would I be able to decipher my messy paper standing in front of a hundred strange ladies? Quiet time failed to allay my anxiety. I fussed over my outfit--the print dress or the blue one? I panicked over my hair--please God, let it be a good-hair-day. Could I please walk to the platform without tripping?
Driving to the church, foreboding squeezed my chest. The arrow prayers I shot upward seemed to bounce off the headliner. You'd think I was on the way to my hanging. Robotically I dragged my books and bags into the church.
The sanctuary of the Lake Almanor Community Church had been transformed into a positively magical English Tea room. Round tables laden with beautiful china and flowers adorned each table, each one reflecting the individual personality of the creative hostess who decorated it. Ladies in hats and flowery dresses greeted me with genuine smiles and showed me where to set up my books and the special seat reserved for me up front. The friendliness and beauty of these women lifted my heart. And oh, my! The food! Tables with white tablecloths presented appetizing finger sandwiches, scones in a wide variety of shapes and sorts, and oodles of scrumptious pastries. Absolutely first class. A teapot steeping with fragrant specially blended tea rested on every table. Well done, ladies!
A charming young woman played piano as guests arrived and were seated. Conversation flowed, hostesses served tea, plates laden with goodies were sampled--everyone oohed and awwed about the fabulous food and tables--such fun.
All too soon, I was being introduced. I climbed the steps to the podium. (No tripping. So far, so good.) I extended thanks for the gracious reception and the opportunity to speak. But when I glanced at my notes, a blurry page met my gaze. Heart pounding, I realized I'd left my glasses my in my bag!
Help me Lord, I prayed silently. God's promise in Psalm 81;10 popped into mind, "If you open your mouth, I will fill it." Okay, Lord, here I stand. Fill my mouth.
And He did.
Although I could barely read my large-print Bible, thoughts tumbled out. The ladies laughed at spontaneous bits of humor God supplied and applauded the object lesson. No one fell asleep or walked out (that I noticed). Cell phones didn't interrupt. When the words stopped, I closed with prayer.
Afterward several women blessed me with encouraging comments. A few had deeper issues to discuss. What an amazing Provider! Why had I doubted His ability to use even me? Worts and all.
How about you? Is fear paralyzing you in your present situation? Do you believe God will be faithful? Or are you trying to put God in a box by assigning human characteristics to the God of the Universe? Choose to trust Him today. He is God of All--faithful and true. He cannot be otherwise.
In my book THE ROAD TO TERMINUS, Mabel Crowley's fears multiply as she travels Route 66 along with a fugitive and a sick child. For a long time it looks like the situation just keeps getting worse. Yet God is faithful.
If you haven't read THE ROAD TO TERMINUS, head on over to Amazon with a click and order it. Makes great summer reading! May God guide you on your journey to eternity and may you discover for yourself that God is always faithful.