Words have power.
They can tear down. I bet you can remember a set of words from someone significant in your life who spoke unkind words that pierced your tender young soul. You can recall with great detail, exactly where you were, who was in the room, maybe what you were wearing…Me too. The old nursery rhyme was flat out wrong. It should go;
“Sticks and stones
can break my bones
And words can
surely hurt me.”
BUT- if words have that much power, then the flip side is true too! Have you ever heard a sermon or Tedtalk that encouraged you down in your bones? I mean, down to your core? What a gift the Father gave us in words.
When I was a baby believer, I remember not understanding the Word of God – it was all so intimidating and long and detailed. But the first time someone explained a passage to me, I was dumbfounded.
It was fall 1981. A girl from down the hall wanted to have a small gathering. She’d invited a speaker/teacher to come and discuss a Bible story with us. The woman was from Campus Crusade for Christ (now called “CRU.”) She was a beautiful, soft spoken all American blonde. She was very warm and welcoming and as she prayed, I felt such peace and power all at once.
The reading was from Abraham’s story in Genesis. I could not believe how much she got out of those few verses. She had a reverence for the Bible and treated us all with dignity, no matter what we believed. She expounded on Abraham’s faith in obeying the Lord’s command, how he came close to killing his precious firstborn son, how Jehovah Jireh provided a sacrificial lamb… how this all pointed to Christ. And I walked back to my dorm room a changed woman.
If it’s true that a fellow human’s words have power, the Word of God surely has SUPER power. When the words of a fellow believer are seasoned with words inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is not unusual to feel changed on the inside. That’s what I’ve felt after having the privilege of sitting under Michael Easley’s teaching for 8 years. It’s my honor to have him as my guest this week on the podcast. His knowledge of the Word inspires me and his sense of humor in the midst of suffering encourages me deeply. Michael lives with chronic pain but has an easy, disarming laugh. Watching him struggle well may have had just as much of an impact on the body of Christ as his sermons have.
His perspective on life being “just a short layover in a clean bus station” has stretched my imagination around my own story. Keeping in mind the fact that I’m heading Home helps me not only endure the suffering in the in between, but take joy in it. Hope you’re encouraged by Michael’s words too. Bye Love!