I have a confession to make. I have a fear of funerals.
Normally that would not be a problem if I only had to attend them, because I wouldn’t have to do much except sit there and endure them. But I’m a Christian minister. I have to lead them.
Where does this fear come from? I’m not exactly sure, I just know that when I get up in front of all those people (many of whom are not Christian) and I need to talk to them about matters of life and death, my stomach turns, my knees go weak and my tongue feels like lead in the bottom of my mouth.
On Monday I had a funeral to take. And it was going to be a big one. Needless to say, that did not do a lot to ease the fear factor! In fact, as the time drew near, it only intensified.
It sounds axiomatic doesn’t it – a scared Preacher. Preachers aren’t meant to be scared. They are meant to be bold and confident and strong. But sometimes they do get scared, because God wants to remind them of their weakness and inadequacy. And this inadequacy – if they are faithful preachers, will drive them to their knees.
I didn’t find going to my knees on Monday a difficult thing. I was in need divine grace. I was in need divine strength. And I was in need divine power. The difficult thing was getting back up. Because I still had to face all those people. I still had to mount that stage. I still had to tell them about Jesus. And although I had prayed for divine power, there was no guarantee that I was going to get it… until I stepped forward and opened my mouth. Then, and only then, did the power come.
I was reminded once again this week that funeral fear (or any fear) can be turned into funeral boldness when, in complete dependence on God, we step forward in faith and God does what we cannot humanly do.
Thank you Lord Jesus for showing me again how your power is made perfect in my weakness.