There I was with an opportunity to speak to roomful of people who would come to hear me share music and stories. It was a really bad time to have a crisis over what I was going to say. I was in the bathroom with 15 minutes left of the “opening act” and I was truly troubled. These were adults, and I did not want to waste their time!! I didn’t want a message too narrow that some might leave and think, “well, Joni, she’s young. Her message was for the young people. Or she’s artistic, that was a message for artistic people. Or she’s a mom, I bet the other moms could relate to her.” I wanted them to leave with something valuable. (These were not strangers, but mostly friends.)
I knew I couldn’t twist God’s arm for last minute wisdom, but I had to ask and pray. What he told me has carried me through many a moment since then.
“Whatever you say, testify of my grace.”
Suddenly, I knew whether I was deeply serious, lighthearted, casual, or funny, none of that was going to matter. What would matter is that the people in the room would hear and see a demonstration of the truth that God is not dealing with them according to what they deserve. Never has, never will. Even though it may look like it, and even though many a sermon has taught them so.
This was the message the lifted me out of physical and mental ruin in my early 20s.