01/22/17 I Am Not Eloquent

READING: Exodus 4-6, Matthew 14:22-36

“Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent.”  Exodus 4:10

I remember years ago listening to a preacher who was suffering from cerebral palsy. His speech was slurred at times, and his words were difficult to understand. I “leaned into” the message, straining to hear and understand what he was saying. As he spoke, his words became much clearer to me, and I found myself wanting to hear more and more from him. If he could face the issues he had faced and still have joy in the Lord, I wanted to learn more. God worked through this man’s words to draw me closer to Him.

Many years later, I was at a Billy Graham Crusade in Kentucky – one of the last public crusades of Billy’s ministry. He was obviously weak, as others escorted him to the pulpit area. A stool was nearby if Billy needed it. I watched as he made his way to the stage, and I wondered aloud how well he would do that night. It didn’t take long to learn. He spoke slowly, but he spoke with passion and power. In the end, it was easy to say, “God did that.”

More recently, I was on the mission field listening to a national believer do his best to tell his Christian story in English. He struggled, but his story came through loudly and clearly. He was a trophy of God’s grace – a representative of His power. God worked through this man’s use of a secondary language to inspire pastors and others in the audience. 

None of these men was particularly eloquent. All, including Billy Graham that night, would not have scored the highest grade in a college communication class. They might have said with Moses, “I am slow and hesitant in speech” (Exo. 4:10). What they did have, though, was the power of God in their lives. As the Lord told Moses, it is He who makes the mouths of men (Exo. 4:11-12).  He gave them their words, helped them to express them, and used them to change my heart and the hearts of others.

Some of us struggle with speaking, too, and today’s reading speaks to us: God’s presence is what we need to tell His story. If we make ourselves available, He’ll take care of the rest. Others of us who claim ability to speak well need another kind of reminder: it is God who made our mouths in the first place. If we do well at all, it’s only because He is with us.


  • Trust God to speak through you today. Let go of your excuses.
  • Just as Jesus spent time praying on the mountain (Matt. 14:23), talk to God a lot today. He’s not worried about, or impressed by, your eloquence.   

PRAYER: “Father, speak through me to someone today.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Exodus 7-8, Matthew 15:1-20

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