“The fear of public disgrace never forced me to keep silent,” (Job 31:34 CEV).
Does the phrase make your liver quiver?
It does that to a lot of people, including me. Yet that’s what the Lord has called me to do. Go figure.
My stage jitters are no better today than the first time I spoke to an audience back in 2010 about handling stress, the topic of my Too Blessed to be Stressed book series. Ah, the irony! The ‘expert’ on stress management, hiding in a bathroom, a quivering mass of nerves, trying to pull it together before mounting a stage to speak to 200 people about a topic she obviously was not qualified to talk about.
Yet that was exactly where I was supposed to be. The Almighty knew that none of us fallible humans are qualified as experts on handling stress in every situation, and here was another scenario He was handing me to qualify me as unqualified.
Humility is the best teacher. Total dependency on Papa God is the only answer.
I started quoting a little psalm I’d learned as a child, “When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee,” (Psalm 56:3). I said it over and over and louder and firmer until the words penetrated the self-convicting cry of “Fraud!” screaming in my brain.
My panic was gradually replaced with supernatural calm and peace that surpasses all comprehension.
I felt assured that every other person in that building who also secretly felt like a fraud was in the process of being transformed into a new creation by the love of Christ. Just like me. Maybe one of them needed encouragement from a fellow fraud that evening.
As I dabbed my sweaty face, my pounding heartbeat returned to near normal and my lungs once again allowed air to move in and out. But I kept repeating that verse until I launched into the message I suddenly believed in more than ever.
“With his love, he will calm all your fears,” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT).