“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…” (Romans 12:3)
At one time, I had aspirations to be a professional singer/songwriter/musician.
But I could never quite overcome my lack of ability… and “unmarketability.” The sudden realization that you don’t quite have “what it takes” is devastating. It was especially hard for me, because I still had a burning passion to write and perform music – and I always felt that God was in all that!
I gave up on my dream to be a professional singer and settled into recording some albums to share with friends… and playing and singing on our church worship team.
The thing is… people have always told me that I have a real “anointing” for worship – which made it even more difficult that I felt my talents seemed to be “wasted” on such a small audience of friends, family, and fellow-believers. Over the years, I would often revisit my hopes of being “more widely received” – but would always come crashing back to reality. The “anointing” may be there… but the ability just wasn’t.
There are so many lessons to share about this musical trek of mine. Lessons about humility. Lessons about pride. Lessons about trusting God when He seems to be leading you somewhere… only to meet dead end after dead end. Lessons in resigning yourself to the fact that God is the One Who must be exalted (when everything in you wants to be recognized as special or important).
But the lesson I want to share, in our time together, is an essential reminder that happened to me today. I did my usual part of playing and singing – and after the worship service, someone came up to me with a story to tell…
It was about the death of her mother (several years ago), and about how hard that was for her to accept. She told me about the depth of pain that she was enduring, and how she just couldn’t seem to gain a peace in her heart. Even though her mother had certainly gone to be with Jesus – she couldn’t get beyond her own grief.
Then she said: “Several months after Mom died, I was in a worship service that you were leading – and God touched me and healed me. I was just weeping and rejoicing as God ministered, through you, to meet me at my place of deepest need. I don’t think I’d ever told you – but I just thought you should know.”
Then it hit me. In all the times (just like this) where people have shared of God’s great work that came through something I sung or said – I was never even aware it was going on! God was moving, doing something that only HE can do in people’s lives, and I had absolutely no clue!
I am reminded how often I tend to crave people’s recognition. How much I want to be praised for God’s handiwork. How often I do something (for God) yet want some kind of personal reward or applause for doing it.
And how selfish that really is.
I’m pretty sure that God brings these types of testimonies into our lives to remind us of three things: 1) He is always working; 2) sometimes He chooses to do His work through us; and 3) it’s only important that HE gets the credit.
I am learning that we may never know (this side of heaven) how our lives have been used to touch the lives of others. And that’s really okay. Nothing is insignificant when God is in it. And part of a true faith is understanding and acceptance of that fact.