Our Own Understanding

Pat Gangi Drechsler

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...

In fewer than 48 hours I would be standing before 150 women at a weekend church retreat to deliver two keynote talks... and I wasn't ready! I'm used to preparing a word-for-word script, but now all I had were some scattered notes. It wasn't a matter of procrastination either; in the previous months I'd sat down five or six times to write the talks but the words just never came.

Cindy, the retreat leader, had invited me saying, "I truly believe the Holy Spirit has plucked you out of thousands of women and said, 'Here is the right speaker for our Daughters of God conference!'" At the time, I also felt it was something the Holy Spirit wanted me to do, but now I wasn't so sure.

I was near panic. I'm pretty good at speaking "off the cuff" but not for two one-hour keynotes! I got down on my knees in the hotel room and prayed, "Lord what do I do now?" That's when he reminded me of what Cindy had said - that the Holy Spirit had chosen me!

I immediately knew I'd been relying on my own efforts rather than seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance. I prayed more and started writing. This time, instead of my usual tightly-scripted notes, I ended up with several key scriptures and a simple talk outline that gave much more room for the Holy Spirit to move as he wanted.

At the end of the retreat, a number of women shared with me how the talks had moved them. Many asked me to pray with them. Cindy said my presentations were "anointed" and far exceeded her expectations. As for me, I was overwhelmed with awe and gratitude at the way the Spirit worked through me when I was willing to exchange my own understanding for his.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Am I open to all the different gifts of the Holy Spirit or just the ones with which I feel comfortable? Do I regularly invite the Holy Spirit into my work life?