For New Year’s Eve I had made plans to return to Bourbon Street with the people of Raven Street Church. All week long there had been a battle in me over whether or not I was going to return. My time there the previous week had been very difficult and I struggled all week with feeling inadequate for such a work. My natural temperament is reserved and quiet, so such a hostile environment left me feeling quite out of my element and unable to minister to anyone. The experience was humbling, as I very clearly saw my own weakness. It was a crushing (and necessary) blow to pride. One that kept me down for most of the week. I could hardly bear to think of returning to experience such a paralyzing ineffectiveness again. And yet……..at the same time I felt so strongly compelled to go. Thus the battle.
Friday afternoon I sat at my table feeling desperate to hear something from God regarding all of this. I opened my Bible to the place I had left off reading – 2 Corinthians 3 and almost immediately the Lord brought peace to my heart through His Word….
And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech–
The last portion caught my attention because it addressed my need – “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech–” I looked up the word hope and found it to mean a confident expectation based on solid certainty. I searched the previous verses to find out what this solid certainty is that created a confidence that led to great boldness – “the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory”. Something clicked, and a truth that I had already known became much more solidly established in my heart – the message that we bring is a glorious message. Because of our wonderful Christ and His wonderful gospel, we can be very bold because of our confidence that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation…regardless of the weakness of the messenger.
I felt as though 10,000 pounds had been lifted from my heart. With great thankfulness to the Lord I rejoiced in the peace that washed over me concerning the trip to Bourbon Street the next night.
To be continued…..