Stage Fright

If you have ever been asked to make a public presentation you most assuredly suffered prior to the presentation; cold hands, weak knees, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat accompanied by a pain in the pit of your stomach.  I once had a friend who when pastor of a very large church said he often threw up the mornings he was to speak.  Psychologists tell us stage fright is the number one fear ranking above snakes, heights and spiders.  So you can imagine my delight when I read I Corinthians 3 where Paul says, “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”   Ah, ha.  Paul was one of us.  How could it be?

Actually, I am being very generous to place us in any category with him.  None of us have been, “Five times I received the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea.”  II Corinthians 11.   I have heard people mock John Mark because he quit during Paul’s first missionary journey and went home.  I wonder how many of us would have stayed.  It was dangerous to be near Paul.   But let’s get back to his stage fright.  Jesus had promised, “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, 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.”   We really have it so easy.

Written by Roger Bothwell on March 20, 2012

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574