Have you ever completely lost your voice before? If you’re active in ministry you know that your voice is one of the most important tools that you have at your disposal to share the Gospel. How else are you supposed to give a testimony, lead an activity, or organize a group of people, even if it’s a small group? It’s something I never thought about until a few weeks ago. I was given the opportunity to see God move in ways that I knew He could, but hadn’t yet experienced for myself.
A few weeks ago, Ablaze was asked to run the youth portion of a family conference. It was a great opportunity for us to gain new ministry experience and to promote the work we do and get more people involved. So – it sounds like a no brainer for us to take on. Only there was a catch. We received the opportunity on extremely short notice and there wasn’t much time to put programing together. There also wasn’t a lot of information to go off of as far as the number of participants or space availability. We knew it was going to be a challenge but we were ready to put it in God’s hands and say, “Here we are! Use us!”
For the good of our team and the success of this conference, I wanted to make sure that I personally was putting my best effort forward. I was preparing the talks for my sessions, but it wasn’t going well. I spent over an hour working on a new talk before I decided that it wasn’t any better than the material I already had. I kept second-guessing myself and my ability to share the Gospel. It was hard for me not to listen to the lies the devil was trying to get me to believe.
God will do great things through you.
Just allow Him to do so.
On top of this, I was also coming down with something. I’d gone to bed that night with a sinus headache and an achy body. I gathered a group of prayer warriors and showed up to the conference under the weather, but still with the ability to joyfully serve. Even though I was lacking energy, when I was called upon to lead games God showed up with inspiration. I didn’t get to lead like I normally do, with a well thought out plan decided way before hand, but God made sure the games were fun and served their purpose.
Later on during the day, I gave two talks and led an activity for a group of boys. This was one of those instances where God gave me just enough grace to get His intentions across during the session. By the end of this time though, my voice was almost completely gone. By that evening, my throat was in so much pain and all I could do was mouth words. And we still had one more day of the conference. I had no choice but to let God carry me at this time, and He was making it very apparent that it was His work being done in and through me.
In the midst of all the fatigue and lack of voice, God still was able to use me for this weekend. I experienced in a new way what it means when St. Paul said to the Romans, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1. Even though it wasn’t what I usually offer, I gave God the little I had and He still used me as His instrument. It’s been nice reflecting on the creativity of the Holy Spirit through the “yes” that I gave Him. In what ways is God calling you, to say yes, for the building of His Kingdom?