Sweaty Palms, Knocking Knees, Shaking Head

Have you ever been so nervous that your head shook? Everyone has had times when you’re so nervous your palms get sweaty and your hands shake; or for some your knees actually knocked. Yes, I’ve been in those situations. But have you ever been so nervous that your head shook? Well I have, and believe me, it wasn’t pleasant.

I was about 14 years old and had just gotten involved in the music ministry in my church. I was soon approached by a trio of gifted musicians in the church asking me to play keyboard and accompany them when they sang. I was honored and eagerly said yes. We were scheduled to do the special music in church the following Sunday. I was given some music and we rehearsed during the week to prepare the song. The following Sunday I got to church early to meet with them before the service. When they came in to rehearsal I was handed a different song, not the one we had rehearsed, and I was told that we’d be doing that song instead. It was one that they knew so I just needed to sight read the song and follow them.

Are you kidding me? I had practiced the other song all week and was comfortable with it. I had never seen this new song before.

My palms got sweaty and my hands began to shake. By the time the service started, I was feeling nauseous and I had blurred vision. When the time came for our song, my knees began to knock. Have you ever played the piano and your knees are literally knocking together? Not cool! When I began the introduction to the song my head was actually shaking. Again, not cool! Let me say that it is hard to sight read music when your head is shaking. Somehow, by God’s grace I got through the song and the congregation applauded and there were even a few “amens.”

This trio obeyed and followed the leading of the Lord, God had used it to encourage others in the Lord and the song fit perfectly with the Scripture that the pastor spoke from that day. If you’re a veteran church musician you can probably share a similar story. If you’re brand new at this, you’ll have a story like this soon enough.

There’s nothing more exciting than using your musical talents to serve the Lord and following His leading in each service. And the cool thing is when we give our talents to Him, He will give us opportunities to use those talents and exercise those muscles. As we’re faithful with each opportunity He will provide more and more opportunities.

Sure, your nerves may get the best of you at first but each time will be a little easier as you see God using your talents for His honor and glory. 2 Corinthians 3 says that our confidence and our competence comes from God, not ourselves. He is our competence and He makes us competent as ministers as we follow His leading. When you stand to minister to others through music remember that it’s God working through you to minister to others, even if you have sweaty palms and a shaking head.