The great Baptist preacher of Victorian England, C.H. Spurgeon, once confessed to his grandfather that he struggled deeply with his calling as a preacher: “I never have to preach,” he said, “but that I feel terribly sick, literally sick, I mean, so that I might as well be crossing the English Channel.” Spurgeon asked that “dear old man” whether he would ever get over this feeling. The grandfather answered: “Your power will be gone if you do.”
In God’s economy, strength resides in weakness. For most of us, it is a relief to hear this good word once again. We are in a good place when we look forward and feel, in ourselves, ill-equipped to meet life’s challenges. When we feel overcome by our inadequacy, as Spurgeon felt every Sunday, it is at this point that we can, in faith, expect the gracious torrent of God’s powerful presence in our midst. In the topsy-turvy rules of God’s Kingdom, it is when we feel smallest, when we feel weakest, when we feel most hemmed in by the iron walls of our limitations, it is precisely then that we can hear the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind.
And that is an encouraging thought.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.