A Burning Fire in My Bones

This past weekend I spoke at three different churches.  As I walked to the podium at the first event I started to cry when I saw the large audience. Every time I speak I am reminded of where I came from and how He uses me in spite of myself.

I was painfully shy as a child.  I was so shy that I rarely spoke at school and had very few friends.  I mean in order to have friends, you’ve got to communicate, right?  I choose not to.  From the time I was in elementary school, I would envision myself with imaginary walls all around me and I liked those walls. Well, the school thought something was mentally wrong with me because I didn’t talk.  So, they put me in a class for retarded children.  I know, that’s a bad word but it was the word they used for us in that class.  I hated the class.  I didn’t want to be in it.   I knew I needed to get out– but I couldn’t overcome my fear of talking to people.

One night as I prayed and asked God to help me overcome these fears, I felt a surge of strength rise up in me.  I started to read the Word,  something started to  burn in my heart, I couldn’t hold in. Even though I was terrified of my next words I said, “Give me to strength to overcome my greatest fear and I will speak of You forever.”

Well, I got out of that class the next day.  I was only in 6th grade but I knew in my spirit that in my weakness He was made strong. The road ahead of me was terrifying, but through Him I was going to be a speaker for Him!

I’ve been speaking for Him ever since that day. You would never know it, but that introverted little girl is still inside me.  Every day I am reminded of Jesus’ command to all believers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

In order to accomplish this, we will always have to go outside of our comfort zone.

No matter what my insecurities are, this is a mandate on my life- and every Christian.

Every time I speak for Him, I am brought to tears before I speak asking (God) that He would use me in spite of my weaknesses.

Over the weekend  I saw people weep as they came to Christ.  People made radical decisions to turn their lives around and others wept because they finally understood how much God loved them. Oh my goodness, it was the greatest!

One of the places where I spoke had three times more people show up for the event than had registered!

At another place, almost the entire audience came forward at the end of the service for prayer and decisions.

The Lord’s presence was powerful- long after the events were over and throughout the ministry time.

Oh my, I wish I could tell you all the exciting things that happened.

In between all the great things was the traveling… A flight was delayed.  The plane broke down and traveling time equaled 21 hours…  There were other circumstances that must go unmentioned.

But, God did what He wanted to do in spite of me or any other circumstance! Hallelujah!   That’s what I always find amazing: the harvest is great- He just needs us to “Go.”  He provides everything else; the words, the ability , the power, and the conviction on the listeners.

On my way home I read the biography of John Wesley.  He offered the hope of Christ to millions of people in the 1700’s.  He rode by horseback a quarter of a million miles, preaching forty thousand sermons in open fields, churches, and barns.  Oh my goodness, I want the Word to be like a burning fire within my bones like Wesley, unable to contain it.

 With no microphone he preached in open air to thirty-two thousand people!!! 

Jesus, set us on fire for You and for laboring in the harvest—for it is truly great!

 Somebody asked John Wesley,

“How can you impact so many lives through the Gospel?” Wesley responded,
“It’s simple, I set myself on fire and let the world see me burning.”

But His Word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, I could not.” Jeremiah 20:9

  • Barb Koob said:

    Oh Sharon... You have inspired today. Love you and the message God has placed in your heart.

    • Good! Do it Barb! Do what He is calling you to do!! I love you!

  • Shirley said:

    I get so excited every time you share about how God is using you. Thank you for sharig about your experience in school. I had many students who hated coming to school.......so sad. I often told them school is not the be all to life. God has a plan for you and there is something special awaiting you when you graduate. God allows each to blossom in His time.

    • Thank you Shirley! What age group did you teach? If we had all had you in our classes it would have made things easier:). Hugs!

  • Charlotte Askew said:

    Sharon, I just love this post. You know, I can see you with that fire burning in your bones. You exude your love for our Lord and His words. There is nothing pretentious about you sweet lady. Harvest away sweet sister, keep harvesting for the Lord.

    PS I got the book, thank you so much.

  • Kim C said:

    So blessed by this sharing from your heart! My mom is still painfully shy and had a very similar experience in her childhood. Oh thank you for sharing!

  • Francisco said:

    I need to to thank you for this great read!
    ! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

  • hattie damon said:

    The name of the above biography? Would love to read it.

  • Cathy Jacobs said:

    A bit of a story as to how I got to this website this morning.... But it has blown my socks off! I am a mother of four grown children, grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren. 1 1/2 yrs ago the Lord called me out of 15 yrs in full time church ministry to begin an independent ministry to encourage grand parents and "grown parents" to rise up and be the leaders of faith within their families that God called them to be. Just got home from speaking at a small retreat last week and getting ready next week to begin my first book for raising an army of "g-parents". Feeling down this morning. Wondering if I'd made all this up in my head??? When I read about Suzanna Wesley and then your blog. Now my heart is on fire! Pray for me to continue to run hard the race set before me.... Thanks for your words of encouragement, your role-model.

  • Kathy said:

    Wonderful to read about the prayer habits of Susanna Wesley. Her influence over her children was inspirational. Her two sons were on fire for the Lord as a result of her example. She realized that this world will soon pass away and we have a heavenly hope to give strength and joy in all we do and say. Thank you for these words to inspire me to be diligent in prayer and to be open to God's Spirit to guide and direct my steps.

  • Tarcha said:

    I neeeded this! I have a 6 & 8 year old plus I am an educator of middle and high school students. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I need my consistent prayer and study of the word back.

  • Cathy Sly said:

    I am claiming and praying deliverance for all of my children and for them to bear fruit for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thanks You!!! This was so inspirational for me! God Bless you and your family as I will be praying for you also!!!

    • Yes Lord! Make her children bear much fruit for Your glory! In Jesus' name, amen!

  • Evelyn said:

    I have a soon to be 20yr old daughter who embraced the Lord and has served him since a child. Leads worship in church, has an amazing gifted voice and loves working with kids.
    Recently I am seeing a change in her attitude. She is seeing a young man from our church, I like him, though, he is not a solid christian young man. I see a distraction in my daughter, a rebellious attitude I have not seen before. All she is concerned about is going out, having fun. I can't even have a conversation with her that does not turn into an argument. Please, pray for wisdom for me and that God's loving kindness will lead her to repentance and that she would hear His voice.

  • Susan Duggins said:

    Dear Sharon ..Last night at the River Of Life women's meeting ,you said thatSatan always attacks the last thing God speaks to us ,like he did Jesus.Could you repeat that thought to clear my understanding? Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a powerful way and your willingness t

  • Susan Duggins said:

    Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a powerful way and your willingness to yield to a different direction than your original plan.Thank you for your encouragement to remember God's love for us.