Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Embarrassed Without Notes

On one occasion I spoke to a group of pastors, elders, missions committee members, and missionaries. I was to give a word of encouragement for 10 to 15 minutes to these men and women who have faithfully served God. I spoke from one of my favorite passages of Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.

I had meditated on this verse for several days and felt prepared. However, I had traveled all day, was very tired, and my knee was giving me problems with pain. Nevertheless, I felt confident in the Lord to minister to these dear saints of God, and felt I did not need to use notes. Was I ever mistaken! I forgot special points in mid-sentence, lost my train of thought twice, did not finish certain applications properly from the Word, and sat down in complete frustration and embarrassment.

I have come to realize I cannot speak without notes. It is good to trust God, but also remember our limitations. God will lead and guide as we prepare, and then we trust Him. He leads us to divert to other matters and applications. I’ve learned I need to at least have studied and prepared the basic notes and framework to speak from, and God will help me to speak His truths.

It was a good experience to learn from my mistake; however, I do feel sorry for the 50 people who had to listen to me.

Throughout the night the incident kept returning to my mind because of the overwhelming sense of embarrassment and failure. My prayer was, “Oh, God, you taught me this wonderful lesson, BUT I ask that You still use my stammering speech to glorify Your name and encourage Your people!”

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Wow! As one of the 50, I came away from that meeting with a completely different impression! You blessed me and left me encouraged and excited to hear all you had to share with us for the conference. God used you to bless me!