Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Under the Spotlight

I will trust and not be afraid;
For the LORD GOD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.
Isaiah 12:2

Some years back a traveling evangelist came to a nearby town to hold Billy Graham-style meetings in the school gym. His team asked for assistance from the area churches for people to pray, to counsel, and to help with the music.

Someone asked me to sing a special, which I gladly did. The night I sang, an acquaintance from my school days came up and mentioned how much she liked the song. She just kept on about how amazing it was. I secretly basked in the praise but replied as humbly as possible, "Oh, it wasn't my doing. You remember how shy I was in school."

"I know," she agreed, "that's what made the song so amazing."

Okay. It wasn't my ability that impressed her. It was the fact I had been able to get up there at all. That was humbling.

 Later I was struck by two things:

*The fact I was stung by her agreement with the very words out of my mouth.
*How much God has really changed me from the timid little teenager I once was.

Often our lives become so full we spend much of it doing, instead of being. This is usually considered to be bad. If we are doing the right things, however, we don't stay the same. Somewhere along the way, the song changes. We may not even realize how much.

I once yearned for the acceptance and approval of others. The more I tried, the more I embarrassed myself. After a few of those failures, I retreated to a life of safety in the shadows.

That's where God found me, dusted me off, and gave me a new song.

Today I have an audience of One. My goal is to make every day a solo performance straight from the heart to the only person whose approval I need. I already have His acceptance.

I fail at that goal every day, of course, because I'm so miserably human. But I know God is still at work on me. His stage is the secret place of my soul. His spotlight reveals my motives, illumines my heart, and dispels the shadows. 

Being under the spotlight can feel pretty intimidating. It can get a little heated under the light. It's a good place to be, though.

Lit up. Under scrutiny. Singing our song for Him.

How have you changed over the years? Has it been for the better or for the worse? Can you think of a time you feel under the spotlight of God's scrutiny? What did you learn from it?


TC Avey said...

This part speaks to my heart, "My goal is to make every day a solo performance straight from the heart to the only person whose approval I need. I already have His acceptance."

Very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing!

Pamela Thorson said...

Thanks for the comment. It's tempting to seek the world stage for validation, when we're already in His spotlight--a fearsome and wonderful place to be.