September 19, 2019

Tuesday night, I was speaking to a very large crowd at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston. My brother, John, is the senior pastor.

Just as John stood up to introduce me to his congregation, I took a sip of water from a glass on the table. It was covered in condensation but I didn’t think twice about it. At that moment the glass touched my lips, I felt something very wet and cold on my upper thigh. That’s when I realized the condensation from the outside of the glass had spilt onto my light gray pants. It did not look good.

Immediately I was overcome by a wave of panic and anxiety as I realized I was about to stand up in front of hundreds of people while wearing gray slacks with a very dark spot. I knew everyone would immediately think I had wet my pants.

As the introduction continued on, I quickly grabbed the cloth napkin off the table and furiously rubbed, hoping the spot would disappear.

It was at that point that John decided to tell the congregation about the time in high school when he and I played football together and were in a fight on the one yard line. John explained that the referees had stopped the game but couldn’t figure out what penalty to call since the fighting players were on the same team and our coach was yelling up into the stands at my father about how he didn’t know what to do with us. This gave my pants enough time to dry.

There are no words to express how grateful I was to God that my brother had chosen to tell everyone how I took off my helmet and hit him with it because I had to make the tackle he missed. Again, while that may not have been a shining moment in my life, I was glad John shared it.

While you may not have ever spilt water on your pants right before you are to stand up in front of a huge crowd to speak, there have been times when you were afraid. We’ve all been there.

But for those who truly trust in the all-powerful, all-saving, all-healing love of Jesus Christ, there is no room for fear because our God says, “Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b)

So even if it looks like you’ve wet your pants, don’t be afraid because it really doesn’t matter. God already knows the truth. It’s God’s opinion that matters.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in those moments when fear sticks its ugly head into my life, help me to remember that you are bigger than any challenge I face. Banish fear from my life and enable me to completely trust you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two things: First, the pants dried and my sermon changed lives, saved rocky relationships and healed cancer. Second, no matter what John, our father, our coaches or the referees said, I was justified in hitting him in the head with my helmet. He missed the tackle. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins