Center stage in front of: people. Lots and lots of people. An audience. A large crowd. This is my fear.
You could call it “the fear of people”, “the fear of public speaking”, or “the fear of attention”. But no matter what you call it, it is a fear nevertheless that I know God wants to purge from me. Why should I care about what others think of me anyway? Isn’t God’s opinion what only matters, what always matters, what matters most? Yet, I unnecessarily hold onto such a silly thing as fearing others.
I am a “people person” – I love spending time with others. However, though I like to be around people, I hate talking in front of a group – even if it is only a dozen friends. I get nervous. I get tense. I get anxious. I don’t know what to say or how to say it so I prefer not to say anything at all.
As I’ve been praying during this season of life, God has given me desires and ideas to do things – gulp – involving presenting in front of an audience. “Lord, seriously? Couldn’t you call me to share one-on-one or simply serve others without any words necessary?” Yes, He could, but I don’t think He has.
He keeps reminding me this: if I don’t share what He’s placed on my heart, then will it be shared? If I don’t tell my testimony about His great faithfulness in my life, then who will? If I don’t speak His truth in this generation, then will it be spoken?
This is not to say His Word won’t be proclaimed or His glory won’t be shared. He is certainly able to give someone else the calling. But, am I supposed to rely on a vain hope that God who has called me will change His mind and call someone else? What of the desires He has given me, the great work He has done in my heart, and the wondrous things He has completed in my life? If I don’t speak forth these, they will go unspoken.
Here’s the point: God has shown me a fear to relinquish. He desires for me to trust Him with this. He longs for me to let go and trust Him. Because – seriously – what’s the worst thing that could happen? I speak the wrong word, my hair doesn’t look good, or I trip over the stage steps? I mean, really, the “worst” thing that could happen is my pride gets torn down. Is that actually something I should fear?
So if that is the worst, then what is the best? God’s Kingdom is advanced, His Word is preached, and His Name is glorified. That’s the best thing that could happen. So when God calls us, we should lean upon Him and trust He can accomplish this in and through us.
So, I am facing my fear – one step at a time. It begins this summer in a room full of kids and parents when I co-lead the elementary department of Children’s Ministry while our Elementary Coordinator, Shirli Sulser, is on sabbatical. And though I admit, I am afraid, I am also very excited to watch God work in and through me to overcome my fear.
If we allow it to, fear will hold us back from serving God. Perhaps you hesitate to help in your child’s classroom because of fear, but do not let that hold you back – all materials are provided and you don’t even have to teach! Allow God to overcome your fear of serving and sign up below!