by ANNIE WESCHE
FOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD WHO
TAKES HOLD OF YOUR RIGHT HAND
AND SAYS TO YOU, ‘DO NOT FEAR;
I WILL HELP YOU.’
Isaiah 41:13 NASB
Early one morning, I awoke to the presence of both my parents in my bedroom. Roused from a peaceful sleep, I rolled over in my bed to see my mother standing over me and my father in the doorway. Looking up at them through bleary eyes, I smiled and said, “Well, good morning,” with a tone of curiosity in my groggy voice.
Mum reached out and set her hand reassuringly on mine, her eyes shining with confidence and understanding. In a barely audible whisper she strained, “I believe you can do it.” Her voice was entirely gone, and it took just one horrifying moment for me to grasp what she meant.
For the past several months, Mum had been preparing to speak at an upcoming mother-daughter tea at a local church, and today was the day. The night before, Mum had been just fine. She’d called me over to sit with her on the sofa, and together we had read through her notes, talked about the treasures of truth that would be shared, and prayed together for God’s blessing on the event.
As a seasoned speaker, Mum was always excited to witness how God would come, in spite of her weaknesses and nerves, and faithfully speak through her. I was excited too as I loved hearing Mum speak. She had such a winsome way of boldly delivering truth, while overflowing with the love of Jesus and the radiance of someone truly in love with Him. Countless times, I’d watched her from the front row as she depended on the Holy Spirit to fill her mouth and work in listening hearts.
But that morning as Mum whispered, “I believe you can do it,” my excitement plummeted and waves of anxiety crashed in on me. Never had I taken the role of speaker. I was happy in the front row, with no aspirations to ever get up and speak in front of others. But that morning it was clear to all of us that, unless there was a miraculous touch on her body, Mum simply had no voice to speak with. The thought of canceling an event that was set to start in a few short hours didn’t seem right to any of us. But our only other option terrified me — I would take Mum’s prepared notes and present them in her place.
Wisely, my parents didn’t allow much time for me to ponder the change in plans. They looked at me tenderly, knowing how daunting this was for me. Then exhorting me to trust the Lord, they repeated, “We know you can do this, Annie — God will help you!” Before I could manage any audible response, they immediately took turns praying aloud for me. They prayed for courage and calm, confidence in the Lord’s help, and for God to use me for His glory.
In those few moments of prayer God did something extraordinary in my heart and mind that carried me through the next couple hours as I showered, got dressed, tried to eat a little something, and then sat down alone to go through Mum’s notes. I was trembling, but my desire to trust the Lord beyond what I was feeling was an anchoring grace. God saw my inner willingness to offer Him a yes, Lord even in my weakness and fear. He embraced me with His peaceful presence and filled me with the strength to get in the car, drive alone to the church, walk through the doors, greet the event coordinators, face their obvious disappointment (I certainly couldn’t blame them), walk up to the mic, and then open my mouth in complete dependency that God would fill it. I felt so out of my depth, but God Himself was upholding me.
It’s now been many years since that day, and the details of the event are mostly a blur. Undoubtedly, I stumbled a bit over my words and I vaguely remember going way over the allotted time. I don’t remember the interactions with ladies afterwards or anyone’s response to the message. But what remains beautifully vivid in my soul is the memory of God coming through for me in such a real way. He took my offering of utter weakness, inexperience, and trust, and showed me that He would never fail to be my Helper when I gave Him my willing yes, Lord. Jesus took me by the hand and I held it tightly from the moment I got out of bed that morning to when I pulled back into our driveway after it was all finished, walking into our home and reuniting with my parents who had been on their knees for me the entire time.
Since that first time speaking, God has set before me other opportunities to open my mouth in His name. Each time, I’m motivated by the honor and joy it is to speak about Jesus, the Worthy One I love. But every single time I’ve dealt with tremendous nerves I’ve had to give over to Him. Each opportunity I’ve had to silence rising feelings of insecurity or inadequacy, and intentionally fix my heart and mind on His worthiness, adequacy, and faithfulness.
Needing a place to get started in the Word?
Here are some rich truths to meditate upon:
- I Thessalonians 5:24
- 2 Corinthians 3:5
- 2 Corinthians 4:7
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
- Joshua 1:9
- Isaiah 40:29–31
- Isaiah 41:10, 13
- Matthew 10:19–20
- John 15:4–9
- Galatians 2:20
- Colossians 1:9–14
- Hebrews 4:16
My mother’s dependency on Jesus laid a beautiful example for me to follow. She embraced dependency, treasuring what it produced in her life. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit unless it receives its life from the vine, dependency reminded her that apart from Christ, she could do nothing. Dependency grew her intimacy with Jesus as she drew near to Him for what she needed. Dependency meant that even with diligent preparation, the results rested in God’s mighty hands. Dependency grew her faith each time she experienced His matchless help. And dependency meant all the glory would go to the Faithful One who did the work through her.
This heavenly manner of dependency is utterly opposed to the world’s messages today: “Own your power!” “Speak your truth.” “You do you.” …and many more repackaged, deceiving sentiments. They are lies at the core that ultimately proclaim a false hope, deliver empty power, and carry eternal consequences as they point you to look to and glory in yourself, rather than Jesus. But as daughters of the Most High God, crucified with Christ and redeemed by His precious blood, we’ve been given His Word that can renew and guard our minds in this world today, equipping us with His glorious truth — truth that has real power to set us free to live as God created us to live. The truth that He is our life.
If you find yourself facing daunting, surprising, fearsome, hard, or stretching things, and you sense the Lord’s loving invitation to walk forward in dependency on Him, take tight hold of His hand, dear friend. Open up your Bible and feast on the abundance of hope, power, grace, and peace that is waiting there for you! Look to the One who is fearless, wise, strong, perfect, loving — your All in all. Draw near to God in prayer, give Him your wholehearted, even-if-trembling, “Yes, Lord!” and experience His very life at work within you.