Ever met a preacher that was speechless? Yeah, I know, with most preachers we have known, we could never imagine that happening. But yesterday, that is exactly what happened to me, though not as you may expect. When I rolled out of bed and began getting ready for a great day of Sunday worship, I found that my throat and chest were hurting, and that I could not squeak out a sound! In that moment of realization and frustration, I had no idea that in just a couple of hours God was going to use my weakness to show His strength.
I immediately began to pray for God’s will to be done regarding the service, whether I was supposed to speak, or whether He had something else in mind. In the course of time, with many people praying for me, my voice did begin to somewhat come back. I realized pretty quickly that I had better ration it out if I wanted to make it through even a shortened version of the message. When it came time to worship through singing, a Milli-Vanilli lip-sync was in store for me. What I discovered was something akin to the psalmist’s be still, and know that I am God. On our first hymn, I didn’t notice anything unusual. After the prayer and greeting, however, God really showed up!
As we began to sing Glorious Day, by Casting Crowns, I closed my eyes and began to worship. It quickly became apparent that this song was way different from the first. God’s people were singing the roof off the place! I mean, it was noticeably loud! There was great joy all over each face as we sang of what Jesus has done for us and of His return. The volume level of everyone’s singing was at least double the other songs!
Typically, if my voice had been okay, I would have closed my eyes, focused on worshiping God, and never even noticed what others were doing. Instead, I found myself wrapped up in watching as people all the way from my 5-year-old on the front pew, to 90-year-olds, were singing out with joy. There was unity, joy, praise, hope and excitement all wrapped up in that one song. I stood there in awe as I worshiped through watching!
The next time you experience weakness, don’t panic, but remember that it is in and through our weakness that God reveals His strength. Be still, and know that He is God. In the midst of our business, if we would but just slow down and look around, we will see God is already at work all around us. Let’s worship, see where God is working, then join Him there! Remember, sometimes it is good to be speechless.
– Tom Ravan