Stage Fright

As I looked out from behind the stage curtain, I could see that the performance hall which accommodated nearly 2,000 people was packed, and on stage were seated many keynote speakers. I had been asked to speak on behalf of Chi Alpha and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship campus ministries while a student in college.

As a musician, I have experienced normal anxiety before going out on stage.  Typical thoughts go through your head such as “Can they see how nervous I am? I think my face is getting red.”  “What if I blow it? I think I’ll die if I make a mistake.”  “What if I lose my place in my music?  Will I have to start over again? That would be embarrassing.”  “What if I get dry mouth?”  “What if I cannot stay focused? …. I AM JUST SO NERVOUS!”

Over the years, however, I have learned a lot about overcoming nerves as I gained confidence as a player, but in this instance, my stage fright was directly proportional to my lack of speaking skills, lack of faith, and I was just plain old SCARED.  I guess I felt as Moses had when he pleaded with the Lord to excuse him from his calling.  “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled” (Exodus 4:10, NLT).

Yep, I was really having a bad time of it.  “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!”  “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”  “Beam me up!!! …  will you?”

As I anxiously waited behind the stage curtain, I was approached by someone backstage.  “Would you pray for me?” he asked. I didn’t have to ask him what he wanted me to pray for, for one of his eyes was immensely swollen and closed shut. He explained that he had been stung by a bee.

GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS

All things are possible through prayer.

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick …” (James 5:15).  Most people think that you must have lots of faith to heal the sick, yet, it was not my faith, but heaven interceding on my behalf to create faith in me for which I was lacking.

As I put my hand on his shoulder, I began to pray.  I did not close my eyes or bow my head in prayer but instead watched as all swelling over his eye disappeared.

PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU[1]

I was now pumped and couldn’t wait to step out on the stage.  You see, I was a new Christian, and had never witnessed God’s healing power in this way before, and so I was, as you would expect, awed by God’s healing miracle; and all of a sudden, all fear of presenting in front of a large audience left me.

As I stepped out through the curtain on to the stage, I felt a surge of energy go through me, and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I was jumping within and at the same time completely at peace. And as I began to speak, I detoured from my planned presentation to start by telling the audience about God’s miraculous healing of the person backstage.

My excitement was contagious, for the audience rose to their feet with arms outstretched and with cheers and clapping. I almost forgot why I was there to speak in the first place.  And as I went on and on about how this individual came to me and was healed, one of the keynote speakers looked at me, tapping his wrist as if to say, “it’s time to get on with your presentation now.”

I don’t believe that this incident was coincidental, rather it was orchestrated. Such orchestration you may have heard referred to as a God thing, a God wink, a touch from heaven, or God-incidence. It  theis in hindsight that I recall that I did not see stranger again.  Where did he come from?  What was he doing backstage?  Why was he not in the audience?  Was he an angel?  Hebrews 13:2 says “Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

There are many examples in the Bible where God sent an angel to give a specific message, to protect, or to serve a person. I believe on this occasion; God sent an angel to minister to me in my distress and to strengthen my faith in Him.

If you have a God-incident to share, won’t you please share it?

Copyright 2017 by Bill Hutzel

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[1] John 14:27, New American Standard Bible

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3 Comments

  1. An inspiring recollection. One time, I was playing the famous 1st horn solo in Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. At the dress rehearsal, my attempt was very poor. I was extremely disappointed and fearful of the next day’s performance. As I drove home, I prayed to God for mercy and heard His words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” To say the least, I was puzzled. But I felt that He was saying, my best was His perfect. He loved me. The next day, I performed the passage beautifully.

  2. Bill,
    That experience was amazing. Your compassion to pray for someone & watch them be healed enabled you to go on stage operating in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    I can identify. I was healed twice at my church & asked to testify on a vision video that they play in between worship & the sermon. I was terrified. I am more comfortable, one on one instead of being viewed by a crowd. I did it anyway because I feel like if God healed me, He needed to get the glory. Sometimes there’s power in the testimony where other people will be healed of the same thing,when you testify. I thought this is not all about me, it’s all about God. So I did it. Then I started doing Marketplace Ministry and my church asked me to videoed once again. I can’t say that I’m comfortable with it. I am being obedient though. May God bless you as you continue to share with us.
    In His grip,
    Cate

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