June 14, 2019
…Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11
Have you ever had the opportunity to share the Gospel or tell someone about Jesus, but you didn’t take it because you felt you weren’t prepared? One of my reoccurring nightmares is to find myself on a stage with people looking at me, yet I have no prepared message to give.
As my father became older and more feeble, I was advised to prepare well in advance for any remarks I might be asked to give at his service. Yet as hard as I tried, I could not come up with anything beforehand. I trusted that God would give me what He wanted me to say, if and when the time came.
That time did come when my father went to Heaven on February 21, 2018. His death set in motion an entire series of events that ran almost 24-7 until his funeral service on March 2.
Each of my four siblings and I had agreed to briefly share personal remarks at the noontime service, and God had used a friend to plant a seed of thought in my mind the day after Daddy went to Heaven. But in the days that followed, I literally had no time at all to prepare. While I was waiting to ride in the first of several motorcades the day of the service, the Spirit seemed to speak to me in a gentle whisper, letting me know how I could flesh out the thought that had already been given to me. But with the busy schedule before the funeral, I had no set-aside time to craft a message.
One hour before the service began, I was overcome by the fear of standing up to speak at my father’s funeral. I knew the audience would include the President of the United States and his wife, the Vice-President and his wife, the governor of our state, senators, congressmen, and just about every well-known leader in the evangelical world. Yet I had nothing prepared to say! So I put my head down on a table, closed my eyes, and thought I would pass out. I couldn’t even pray. It was as though my reoccurring nightmare had become a reality.
About thirty minutes before the service was to begin, I was called to stand by Daddy’s casket and wait with my siblings to greet the president and first lady, and the vice president and his wife. When they entered the main lobby of the library, greetings were given, and then the four of them were escorted to their seats. My siblings and I followed with Daddy leading the way. After special music, my aunt, my two sisters, and my youngest brother and I were escorted to the platform to await our turn to speak. I had not one moment to collect my thoughts.
We went in birth order, which meant I would be the third to speak, following my aunt and my older sister. And this is when the miracle occurred. When I stood at the podium, all the fear, dizziness, and grief fell away. What was left was a clarity of thought and a prophetic message that I knew, even as I heard my own words pouring forth, was a manifestation of the Spirit of God who is Jesus in me. I knew, and am still convinced today, that it was the Spirit’s supernatural equipping of God’s feeble child for that moment. I believe my father was honored, Jesus was exalted, and God was glorified as His Word went forth to the entire world through television, livestream, and social media.
And if God could do that for me, He can do it for you, too. So celebrate this Father’s Day by taking the opportunities your Heavenly Father gives you to speak a word for Him. Tell others that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them. Who sent His own Son to die to take away their sin and guilt. And that if they place their faith in Him, they would be forgiven, reconciled to the Father, and receive eternal life. Just do it! Scared! Experience for yourself a miracle this Father’s Day…a manifestation of the Spirit, who is Jesus in you.