On Saturday I got the opportunity to share with my youth group for the first time. If you know my story at all, you understand that speaking to a bunch of teenagers is nothing new to me. I’ve been doing this for a long time… but it was my first time to do it in Spanish. I had it all done and ready to go… I had 4 people read over it and correct it… I had read it a ton of times and was as ready as I would ever be. But, as usual, I was still nervous.
Something very unusual for me is that that nervousness didn’t go away… it stuck with me until the moment I finished. During the whole deal, I was sweating so bad, I had to brush my hair back because it was actually sticking to my face!
But it was a great time. It’s amazing how true it is that the Lord loves to use our weakness to show his strength. Hold on, I gotta back track for a second. I also felt this type of nervousness when I baked my first thanksgiving turkey a couple weeks ago. Its one thing to do something like that for your family who has no choice but to love you, it is something completely different when you do it for 15 people you don’t really know. I finally told God, with the turkey and my message… Jesus, it is all you. If this turkey/message flies, I will give you all the glory because it is you and you only who did it. If it doesn’t, I’m blaming you as well.
As I was in worship before I got up to speak, I was talking to the Lord about my nervousness… he didn’t take away my nervousness, but he did give me something…. I realized that I didn’t have one of my classic illustrations that I always use and He gave me an illustration that worked amazing with my message. The Lord used what I had… in one pocket I had a piece of gum; in the other $10. In the middle of my message I called a kid up and said, “I have a present for you. It’s a piece of gum (and I held out the gum). You can either have this gum or you can have what’s in my other pocket. I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I am going to tell you it’s good. The question is, do you trust me enough to believe that I want good things for you?” The cool thing is that the kid actually thought about it for a second… but in the end picked the pocket present and got $10.
I think about how that has been God’s question to me time after time… “I have such good plans for you, but are you going to trust me enough to believe that I want good things for you? Would you rather have the thing you can SEE now or wait for my best later?”
I’ll take the $10 over the piece of gum any day… and like I told him I would, I give Him all the glory for all the good that happened that day and every day.