I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. (I Corinthians 2:3)
For reasons I cannot explain, this line from the great apostle has lodged itself in my heart over the past few days. The more I reflect on it, the more I appreciate Paul’s admitting it.
In this and every other case where Paul mentions some kind of physical infirmity, we wish we had more information. Was he sick? Ailing? Still healing from previous beatings?
John MacArthur writes: Paul came to Corinth after being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi, run out of Thessalonica and Berea, and scoffed at in Athens, so he may have been physically weak. But in that weakness, he was most powerful. There were no theatrics or techniques to manipulate people’s response. His fear and shaking was because of the seriousness of his mission. (The MacArthur Study Bible)
I suppose we preachers are a lot like horses and mules and dogs: hit us often enough and we become “gun shy.” We want to stand and deliver with boldness and power, but we’re ready to duck.
Thank you, Paul, for telling us this. And if you will allow me, I will draw a few inferences from it that I find helpful to all of us who stand to proclaim God’s Word.