But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Few things have exposed the glory-hunger of my heart more than the desire to lead people in worship. It is a noble task, and one to which I believe the Lord has called me. However, it can be difficult to tease out the calling in the midst of my own sinful desires.
Maybe you know the feeling.
I wish I had all these words of wisdom to impart to you—to have you awe at my (humble) worship-leading advice and admonition. I wish I could say that I’ve deftly avoided all the trappings of my sinful flesh regarding this platform. I dearly wish I could, but I can’t. So instead, I will start with my weaknesses so that God’s grace and strength can shine in all their beauty.
If you’re like me, you know well the struggles of the stage, the praise of men, and the pull toward comparison—all of which, without Christ, are too much for my puny heart.
From the beginning I wanted to perform. All I needed was a stage. Bless my little ten-year-old heart, I spent hours upon hours in my bedroom, singing and performing for my Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Kid (yes, singular—my mom thought they were too ugly to buy more than one).
As I got older, the love of performing continued to be present. But becoming a worship leader complicated things. Before, when I performed, I didn’t actually have to mean it. I could do all the right actions, say (or sing) all the right words, and appear genuine – all without actually being genuine.
PRAISE OF MAN
To complicate things further, the praise of man began to own me – that longing to be noticed for how I led or sounded. The acclaim defined me. If I had it, I believed it for 2 seconds. If I didn’t, I berated myself for not being good enough and lamented that I never would be. The stage and praise that came my way were never enough.
It took me years to be at peace with my own voice. There are so many others I would rather try on. Why didn’t the Lord give me that range, that timbre? I began to compare myself to other voices, other platforms that overshadowed my own, and as I did, comparison began to steal any joy I might have had in being “me.”
HIS GRACE IS ENOUGH
Freedom finally came as God graciously allowed me to feel the famine of my soul. I stopped looking at myself and those around me, and turned my gaze directly on Him. He proved to be more than enough. His grace truly is sufficient.
It is because of that grace that I don’t need to perform any more. I believe the words I sing—heart, mind, and soul. I know I don’t deserve to be on that stage and yet He has entrusted me with such an honor: to lead His people in worship, despite myself. Any praise I might receive isn’t mine to own, and if I don’t hear praise, my heart is steady knowing I am being obedient to what the Lord called me to do. I no longer need to compare but trust the Lord has given me this voice and this range for a reason.
This is what He does. He gives us what we don’t deserve, not for our glory but for His. He humbles us so that He may exalt us in His time and for His purposes.
I can’t boast because I’ve done it all right. None of us can. Jesus has given us a greater boast.
We boast because He has been (and is) enough.