I stepped off the plane at Poland’s International Airport in Warsaw, “armed and dangerous,” with a message I couldn’t wait to deliver.
After months of careful writing, editing, praying, preparing, and internalizing this message, I was ready—it was velcroed to my heart. In less than twenty-four hours, I would deliver it to a large audience of Polish folks I’d never met but had prayed for so long they almost seemed like family.
Then it happened.
“I’m sorry, Sandi,” the conference director, Tomek, announced casually at lunch. “You can’t give that message you prepared. The program says something very different.” Tomek couldn’t remember the changes, or what the audience was expecting. “It’s okay,” he assured me, returning to his plate of poppy cakes. “You’ll do fine.”
Politely excusing myself, I grabbed my Bible and jacket and headed up the small mountain nearby. Reaching the top, I looked up into the heavens and cried out in desperation.
“Lord, my hands are empty. I need You to fill them. This message is not mine. It’s Your message. I’m just the messenger. These are not my people. They’re Your people. You know what they need. Please give me the words.”
Then God began orchestrating something amazing, flooding my mind with powerful Scriptures, comforting promises, and engaging stories—all pointing up to Him. Then He ordered them clearly, concisely, beautifully, into a brand-new message, unlike I’d ever given before. Hours later, I descended the mountain, feeling a wee bit like Moses must have felt, with fresh truths from the hand of God.
The next day, on my way to speak, I grabbed a program, and someone to translate the paragraph above my name. I was stunned. It was the perfect description of God’s message on the mountain.
I stood before the audience, interpreter beside me, delivering the new message, fresh from God’s heart to theirs. They were moved, and I was in awe of the God who opened my eyes to the majesty, the mystery—the gift— of His sovereignty.
As Christian writers and speakers, you and I are privileged to be called to take God’s message to His people. But here’s the rub—we need to make our plans in pencil, because He has a big eraser and He’s not afraid to use it—for our good and for His glory.
You may not be ushered into a “speaker crisis” by a guy with a Polish accent and a plate of poppy cakes, but you will surely need to be ready when God pulls out His eraser. What do you do? Here are three simple take-aways.
- Be PRAYERFUL.
Cry out to God—then listen. He not only has the eraser. He has the pen to re-create, as He directs, and we obey.
“Don’t worry about anything; pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6
- Be WILLING.
Instead of why, ask how. Only God knows why He would allow us to work so hard on a message He knew we’d never give. But how can we grow through the experience? I believe, when we are diligent to accomplish, then willing to relinquish—whatever He gives us to do, we’re opening our hands and hearts, letting Him exchange our good for His best.
“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
- Be HUMBLE.
I stood atop the mountain, stripped bare of anything I could dare claim as “mine.” When we are totally at His mercy, humbled and needy, then He can fill us up.
“…Walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
My friends, when you and I are called to write or speak for Him, it’s as if He reaches down, gift in hand, inviting us to unwrap the paper, untie the bow, and unveil His truths, one by one. Then He sends us to deliver the gift to His beloved ones, spilling His blessings over us one-hundredfold along the way.
QUESTION: Have you experienced God’s eraser in your writing or speaking? How was it resolved? What did you learn?