You’re At Your Best When You’re At Your Neediest

Several Sunday mornings ago I sounded like a frog. My voice gradually went downhill during the service (and it was a communion service so there were a lot of songs) so that by the end of the service, our sound engineer had turned me down almost all the way in order to spare the congregation from having to hear it any longer.

I wish I had a good reason (like a cold or a cough). I wish I had a Godly reason (like I had been singing praise for so long that my voice was lost). I’d even settle for a natural reason (like I hadn’t warmed up properly or something). The truth is that I sounded like a frog because at 3:00am in the morning, after four hours of trying to get our 21-month-old to sleep after she woke up, I lost my temper. I yelled at her.

I felt horrible. I felt like the worst father in the world. I begged Megan to forgive me (and, by God’s grace, she did and didn’t even know what I was talking about when she woke up). I was confident that God had forgiven me. But, the damage had been done, and since I had yelled, I had hurt my voice so much that I lost it during the service. And I lost it good.

Why am I telling you how I sinned a few weeks ago in the middle of the night by getting angry with my precious little girl? First, because it’s good for my pride. And secondly, because I had a choice on Sunday morning what to tell my worship team.

I had a few options. First, I could lie. I had already sinned by getting angry with Megan, so why not continue the trend and make up something Godly sounding? I figured that wasn’t a good idea. Second, I could just not mention it. Sure, I sounded terrible and needed the other vocalist on the team to pick up the slack, but they didn’t need to know, right? Wrong. So my last option was the best option and I let them know that their esteemed worship leader had just, 5 hours earlier, been an idiot.

This was good on a number of levels: it was a chance to “be real” with my team, it gave them permission to “be real” back, it was an object lesson in how much we need God’s grace and how freely he gives it even to bad-tempered-Fathers, and gave me an acute sense that morning of how much I needed God’s Spirit to fill me and empower me. I certainly couldn’t fake it that morning.

We ended up having one of the sweeter times of worship during our communion set that I can recall ever having. We finished “Mighty to Save”, and then, froggy voice and all, I sang a spontaneous song before we went back into the chorus. I heard numerous comments from people who were really affected by that time.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I certainly wouldn’t yell at Megan. But in a way, I’m grateful for this lesson. It taught me a lot about Fatherhood, about worship leading, about being real with my team, and about how much better things go on a Sunday morning when I’m really needy.

And here’s how it sounded. Not pretty, but real.

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