Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trusting That He’s Got This

Not too long ago, Lindsay Harrel and I hung out at the beach. Virtual beach that is! And today she's back to encourage you spiritually! Thanks, Linds!



 Last Sunday, I got the awesome privilege of singing for all three of our church services.

I sang a solo with the choir and orchestra, then I sang a complete solo song during the offering, and then I helped to lead a few songs in our contemporary service.

I love singing. There’s something about it that just fills me up inside like nothing can. When I’m singing, I feel incredibly close to my Lord.

That is, when I’m focused on the right things.

Because it can be so easy to focus on me and how I sound. I worry…will I forget the lyrics? Will I totally bomb this song? Will I get the opening rhythm right? Will I…will I…will I?

Now, what’s wrong with that picture?

Well, considering the fact that I’m supposed to be singing as an act of WORSHIP…to GOD…I probably should be much more focused on Him than on myself.

I get it, it’s human nature, we are fallen, we’ll never be perfect. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t constantly remind ourselves of how we SHOULD react…even if it never becomes our NATURAL reaction.

I was sitting in first service before I sang, worrying. I almost didn’t even want to go up there on that stage. Because I was afraid of failure. Thankfully, I wasn’t just afraid that I’d look like a screw up (although I’m sure that fear is always part of it).

Instead, my main concern was whether I’d mess up an opportunity to share Jesus with someone. That I’d mess up the lyrics that someone desperately needed to hear. That my voice would crack and people listening would be too distracted by that to hear the heart of the song.

In short, I thought I’d inadvertently mess up my ministry…and God’s plan.

Fear almost kept me from ministering.

But as I sat fretting, our music pastor sang these words:

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to Thee
How great Thou art, How great Thou art

And I nearly cried.

Because He was speaking right to me, saying, “Lindsay, don’t you see how great I am? So great that I’m able to get you through each one of these songs in exactly the manner I want you to get through them. And I will speak to people’s hearts. I am able. I am great.”

I can’t even tell you the freedom that came. How the fear dissipated.

Because He doesn’t ask us to be perfect.

He only asks that we’re willing.  That we try our best and draw near to Him.

Because He is perfectly and totally capable of handling the rest.

Your Turn: Do you ever worry that you’ll mess up in ministry? Do you find it hard to remember that He’s got it all under control?



Since the age of six, when she wrote the riveting tale “How to Eat Mud Pie,” Lindsay Harrel has passionately engaged the written word as a reader, writer, and editor. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and an M.A. in English. In her current day job as a curriculum editor for a local university, Lindsay helps others improve their work and hones her skills for her night job—writing inspirational contemporary fiction. Lindsay lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband of five years and a golden retriever puppy in serious need of training.

Connect with Lindsay! 

I'm hosting at
Living By Grace
A facebook community
for women of faith!
*Photo credit: freedigitalphotos

27 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! As a pastor's wife, I'm continually wondering if I am doing enough. Since I had to go to work outside the home, my "ministry" to the church has slipped. I just can't do it all. While I know that I can't be superwoman, I wish I could do more. The thing that helps me is knowing that by supporting my husband and raising my children to love Him, I am contributing to God's kingdom. That is where I find my peace. :)

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    1. Sherrinda, I think you've hit on something here...I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough. We see other women in the church who volunteer in countless places, who seem to have it all put together...and we think we aren't enough. But I think being a wife and mother is such a noble calling, and one that isn't easy. I also think there are different stages of our ministry. Soemtimes we'll be able to give a lot more outwardly. Other times, our family is our one and only priority. I think God knows our hearts and will guide us to the right balance if we're seeking him. Thanks so much for your honesty!

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  2. Yep. And I love this:"But that doesn't mean we shouldn't constantly remind ourselves of how we SHOULD react...even if it never becomes our NATURAL reaction." Slowly trust is becoming more natural for me, second-naturish, kinda like breathing, and I love it. Worry does like to try and sneak in and stop us though, doesn't it?

    BTW - that's one of my favorite hymns and it's playing in the background right now:)
    Have a great day ladies!!

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    1. I definitely battle worry...all the time. I think I've got it defeated--or at least under my shoe--but it sneaks up on me. Guess that means those are huge opportunities to pray and trust, right?

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  3. Love Lindsay!

    I remember soon after I received a greater understanding of God's love, I got a sense my family was going to be my main point of ministry--for life.

    Scary! They've seen me at my ugliest. How was this going to work? Still praying my way through it.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. That idea IS scary, isn't it, Wendy? At church we can put on a smile and just serve. Others don't need to know the dirty secrets in our closet or how we growl in the morning before we're fully awake. But I had a friend tell me that being a mom has helped to make her more like Jesus (making her less selfish...or at least challenging her selfish tendencies) more than any other ministry ever has.

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  4. Thanks so much for having me today, Jess. :)Love you!

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  5. Hello, ladies! Yes, I've been there, many times. But God revealed something powerful to me - when fear comes, it's because the enemy doesn't want us to minister, which makes it all the more important that I fight the fear and do what God has called me to do.

    After I had our second child I went through a very tough time (I wrote about it in my Wildflowers from Winter story on my blog) and I didn't think I wanted to go through child bearing again, although my heart longed for a house full of children. God spoke directly to my heart (I remember the exact moment) and I sensed Him saying: Satan is afraid of your children, because they will be mighty warriors for the Kingdom. He knows that I have special plans for the children yet to come and he's given you fear so that you don't have them. It was such an amazing moment! Six months later I discovered we were expecting twin boys! I don't doubt for a second that God has an incredible plan for their lives (and my girls, too). Fighting fear is the greatest thing we can do to minister for God's Kingdom!

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    1. Love your story, Gabe! I think you're totally right. Satan plants the seeds of fear in our hearts. We don't want to fail. We don't have the strength to do it. BUT it's because he knows someone will be blessed by our ministry. And that's something he doesn't want. Not. At. All.

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  6. One morning when our Sunday service hit a few snags, our pastor said, "I love a church that isn't perfect. You want perfect, I think that church is a couple miles from here. What we have is real. Real people who are willing to get out of the boat and take a risk to share the gifts the Lord has given them." The important thing is that you 'get out of the boat'.



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    1. Love this, LD! You're so right. We aren't perfect. And we shouldn't pretend to be. We're all just sinners saved by grace, trying to share with others what an amazing thing our Savior has done for us. And I think he'll equip us for that if we'll let him.

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  7. The answer to your question is "Yes, all the time". But I am often reminded that when I am weak, he is strong. :)

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  8. Oh yes, this is like the best thing I've read in so long:

    "Because He doesn’t ask us to be perfect.


    He only asks that we’re willing. That we try our best and draw near to Him."

    So, so good, Linds. Thanks for the reminder that He rocks even when I feel like I sooo do no. It's not about me anyway. Pretty sure I need to tattoo that to my arm so I can read it everyday. :)

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    1. So easy to get self-centered, isn't it? To start worrying what others will think of us, when the only thing that REALLY matters is what He thinks...

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  9. Beautiful post, Lindsay and Jess!

    I always cry when I really sing the words from my heart during worship. The tears just flow. It's the love I feel, and it's a release.

    I hope to get to hear you sing sometime. Maybe a singing vlog on your blog???

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    1. Well, Loree, you read my mind. I'm thinking about singing a bit on Friday's blog. We'll have to see... :P

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  10. What wonderful encouragement, Lindsay. Thank you! I, too, have struggled with similar wrestlings in worship ministry, and He's so faitful to (EVERY TIME! You'd think I'd have it down by now!) humble my heart, bring me back to a place of worship, and assure me that he asked a joyful noise of us, not necessarily a beautiful noise. So when my voice cracks and I sound like a forlorn goose, may it at least be a joyfully forlorn goose sound. ;)

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    1. I didn't know you sang too, Amanda! How awesome.

      And yes, we can be joyful forlorn geese together!

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  11. Great post and reminder! And yes, I often don't relinquish control to Him because that seems scary. :) But when I do, that's when the little miracles occur.

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    1. Love how you said that, Stacy! Little miracles...hmmm. I like that a lot.

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  12. What a powerful post. Letting go and letting God can be a challenge for me, too. I'm so glad the Lord uplifted you just when you needed it, Lindsay, and that you were able to minister in His name, free of the fear. You have such a beautiful voice, and I feel certain many are blessed by it.

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Keli. I pray that's the case. I really do. But like I said, I do my part...and God does His.

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  13. Hi Lindsay! Oh, yes. I can soo relate. Everyday, I worry about messing up, and everyday, I have to remind myself that it's better to be fool for Jesus, than impressive. :-) Great post!

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    1. "It's better to be fool for Jesus than impressive." Love that, Gwendolyn! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  14. I've done three mission trips to Bolivia. We go deep, DEEP, D-E-E-P into the most remote places. Jeeps and SUV's. No glamour, no glory, no running water, no clean hair, no clean clothes, NO BATHROOMS.
    When I'm there, I am snug in the hand of God. By merely showing up, kissing babies, shaking hands, saying "buenos dias", the team is living Jesus.

    NO ONE goes where we go. We are usually the only outsiders who've made it to these villages. We have been told that our one day with them is the biggest event of their lives.
    I mean, ME? How is meeting ME the biggest event of someone's life?
    It isn't. It's what we bring with us. Each of the team members carries 100 short wave radios to Bolivia, which will carry the Gospel in Quechua.

    I'm a gringa coming to say 'hola', but when I leave, I leave Jesus behind to speak to them, and there is no greater joy than bringing the message of Christ to those who are utterly and totally isolated from the rest of the world.

    If I keep my eyes on Him, I won't fail. But I MUST keep my eyes on Him.

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    1. Love your example, Jennifer! There are so many things about a trip like that that could scare you away...would scare ME away...but if you just go where you're asked and do what God is telling you to do, you can't go wrong. He'll lead you all the way.

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