I preached yesterday, something I always enjoy. This last time was a bit of a different dynamic than I am used to, though. I joked that I felt like I had a bit of an unfair advantage, since I have known I would be preaching this message for about 6 weeks and so had that long to prepare, versus the pastor who has to come up with great stuff every single week.
Now, that would have been the case, but this sermon didn’t come easy: at times I felt like I was drilling 10,000 ft down through bedrock before I struck anything useful. I was stuck; the words weren’t coming.
It wasn’t until two days beforehand that things really started to flow, for which I was thankful, but I was a nervous and frustrated wreck in the meanwhile. Looking back, I would have to say that this was God’s way of letting me know who is really in control. I felt him saying to me, “Don’t think you can pull this off because you are so clever or intellligent. The words are mine, and I’m gonna make you sweat a little bit before I give them to you, just to make sure you know that in your innermost being. No matter how polished your sermon, nothing is going to happen in the hearts and minds of those listening unless I show up in your words.”
This wasn’t a lesson I would have thought I had to learn going into this, but I realized later that I was trusting my own abilities, and it wasn’t until there was absolutely nothing coming to me that I really got down on my knees and asked the Lord for a word for his people. And I believe it was he who allowed the dam to burst and the creativity to flow in his time.