by Twila Belk
God blesses those who obey him; happy the man who puts his trust in the Lord.
Proverbs 16:20 TLB
Sometimes God asks us to do crazy, scary things. While he hasn’t called me to build an ark or to lead a country, he’s challenged me over the years with some pretty intimidating requests.
I was on the faculty of a writers conference and had arrived at my hotel just in time to freshen up before the pre-event meet-and-greet with other faculty members and conferees. The heavily promoted keynote speaker that year was the fabulous Chonda Pierce, an especially popular stand-up comedian. I had big plans to become best friends with her.
As I ironed my clothes, the phone rang. I picked it up, said hello, and the pleasant voice on the other end began talking. “Hi, Twila. This is Barbara Wells. I’m the director of the conference. We haven’t met, and I don’t know much about you, but we need your help. Chonda had to cancel because of a family emergency. We’d like you to do the three keynotes.” She went on to tell me that the first one would be the next morning. “Oh, and by the way, we’ve invited the community to tomorrow night’s session.”
I listened to Barbara, but had a side conversation going with God at the same time. “You want me to do what, Lord? Are you kidding me? Do you know who Chonda Pierce is? Do you know that everyone coming to the conference is expecting her? You know it’s impossible to fill her shoes, don’t you?”
Then Barbara said, “I’m confident you can do it. I’ve been to your website.”
After a few seconds in stunned silence, I asked, “Can I pray about it?”
Very funny, Lord.
She continued, “When I asked God what we should do, I heard a voice in my spirit that said, ‘Twila Belk is here.’”
At that point she had me—I knew it was a God thing—so I told her I’d do it, but she had to promise prayer covering. Minutes after that conversation, I went to the meet-and-greet. I couldn’t tell anyone about the new development. They’d all find out the next morning when I was introduced as Chonda’s substitute.
Wow. Just wow.
What did I do? I called home and asked my husband to send an urgent request down our church’s prayer chain. I paced and prayed and prayed and paced. I rehearsed the many sermons I give to others, reminded myself of God’s bigness, and remembered his track record in my life.
Then I showed up the next morning with less than two hours sleep, stood on that stage, and delivered the first keynote. My mouth moved. God’s message came out. And nobody booed. In fact, the audience gave God a standing ovation at the end. I survived, and God assured me that he knew what he was doing. Now, five years later, I’ve been asked to return to the conference as the publicized keynoter.
It’s amazing what God can do when we trust and obey, then get out of the way.
Lord, as I think about the crazy things you ask me to do, I can’t help but smile because I’ve seen how you work. The things you ask usually aren’t normal or easy, and most of the time they’re scary. They challenge me to trust you. But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it, Lord? You want to keep reinforcing who you are and how big you are. You want to keep reminding me that anything you call me to do will have your equipping, power, and presence involved. Thank you for teaching me that when I trust and obey, then get out of the way, you always show up and show off. May you receive all honor, glory, and praise.
(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)
About the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.
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Join the conversation: Has God ever given you a crazy, scary assignment? What was it? How did you respond? What did you learn about God at that time, and how does it encourage you to trust him more today?