Friday, August 23, 2013

What Should I Say?

The old cemetery behind The Church of the Holy Rood in
Stirling, Scotland
     One of the most difficult situations we can ever be in is going to a funeral home or funeral service and facing the family.  What are the right words to say at such a time as this?  Having been through many funerals of family members over the years, I think I can safely say that no one can really say anything wrong.  Just by being present, we can bring a blessing to those who have experienced loss.
     There are so many difficult situations in life where we feel so inadequate to say something to someone.  So, quite often, we say absolutely nothing.  However, the Lord wants us to be ready "in season and out of season" to speak for Him words of comfort and words of truth.
     Jeremiah 1:4-9 gives us a picture of God's provision for what to say:  "Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:  'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.'  Then said I:  'Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak for I am a youth.'  But the Lord said to me:  'Do not say, I am a youth, for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,' says the Lord.  Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:  'Behold I have put My words in your mouth.'"
     Powerful scripture isn't it?  God put the words into the mouth of Jeremiah and told him not to worry about being too young to go in His name.  What does this mean for us?
     Quite simply, we don't have to worry about being too old, too young, too eloquent.  All we have to do is be obedient.  After all, the Lord told Jeremiah that He would fill his mouth with the right words to say.
     We know that Moses struggled with the excuse of not being a good speaker.  So God provided a mouthpiece for him in his brother Aaron.  Later, we see Moses actually speaking to the people himself.
     Jesus also promised us that we didn't need to worry about what to say because the Holy Spirit would speak through us if we would just open our mouths in faith (Matthew 10:19).  Just witness Peter speaking to the crowds at Pentecost.  Everyone marveled that he could speak so convincingly since he was merely a fisherman and not well educated.
     Therefore, we need not be concerned about what to say in difficult circumstances.  Our Lord knows what we need to say so we need to wait upon Him.  The greatest fault is not in speaking the wrong thing as much as not speaking at all.  We have words of comfort we can offer others and words of encouragement that they need to hear.  Lets open our mouths in faith to share God's grace with those around us.  Selah!

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