Monday, January 30, 2006

A Nervous Service...

I did something yesterday afternoon that I’ve never done before - I did the sermon at a memorial service for our (Joe and my) best friend’s mother. I was so nervous that I hardly slept for four nights before the service. (The text was yesterday's post - just scroll down to read it.)

I am not nervous when filling the pulpit, or teaching a class, or speaking in a crowd - but this was different - this was our best friend’s mother. And it had to be “right.” This was not the funeral, but it was very serious with a family still hurting very deeply - what could I possibly say to comfort them? And besides that, I had no idea of how to conduct a service of this type. I’m used to someone else doing the planning, and all I do is just speak.

I am fond of quotes such as “If God calls you to it, He’ll lead you through it” and “The Power behind you is bigger that the task before you” and “The greatest ability that God uses is avail-ability.” But still, I was so nervous.

Our pastor’s sermon Sunday morning ended with the closing song “Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow” and a challenge of “are you really willing to follow where He leads?” And I think that’s a question we all need to answer. If we are really His, are we willing to “go with Him, with Him, all the way…” even if, and especially if we are nervous about it?

Where is God leading you today?

Father, open our hearts that we may hear Your call. Lord, we have this - “element” in which we’re comfortable and willing to serve. But what happens when You call us to minister outside our “element”; outside our comfort zone? Are we still willing to serve then?

We pray Lord that You will give us courage and bring to our memories Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where he cried out to You to deliver him from his “thorn in the flesh” and Your answer was “My strength is made perfect in your weakness…”

Father, we know too well our own “weaknesses” - sometimes real, sometimes perceived, and sometimes simply an excuse. But whatever their basis, may we give them to You and step out in faith knowing indeed that “If You call us to it, You will truly lead us through it…”

In Jesus’ Name - Amen.

(PS - as someone pointed out to me as I sent this as my e-mailed devotion this morning - I did not relate how the service went! It went great! God is so good. And last night I slept like - well, you've seen the commercials!)


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