The Stuttering Servant (click to comment)


What Scares You Most?

A recent magazine article asked this question. Hundreds of phobias were listed including the fear of mother-in-laws (Pentheraphobia). Fear of chickens (Alektorophobia) and Arachibutyrophobia, which is fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth! My dog has this fear, but I do not. However, I’m a victim of the number one fear among humans—speaking in public. After the release of my first book, the phone began to ring. People wanted me to speak. “Well…uh…let me think about it for a minute,” I’d say. “There, I thought about it. I can’t. My lips quiver. My knees knock. My liver hurts. I drool. But…um…thanks anyway. Please call me again. In about four-hundred years.”

One night I went home and told my wife about it. She said, “Honey, do you remember in Scripture where God used Balaam’s donkey to talk? Maybe He could use you?” I think it was intended as a compliment. A week later the phone rang. “Mr. Callaway, I’m in charge of a group of ladies. We’ve been reading your book and laughing ourselves silly. Would you come and make us laugh?” I stood there thinking about her question. Ever since second grade when I stood in the corner under a pointed cap making faces at my fellow classmates, I knew I could make people laugh.

So I said yes. And several weeks later I found myself standing in front of a gracious group of ladies. I was nervous. My knees knocked. Perhaps my liver hurt a little. But they laughed. And I found myself thinking of what I had written in the front of my Bible a few days before, while I should have been listening to the sermon: “Moses stuttered. Sarah laughed. Jacob wrestled. Abraham lied. Rahab was a prostitute. David liked rooftops. Jonah was down in the mouth. Jeremiah was depressed. Peter was afraid of death. Matthew worked for Revenue Canada. Lazarus was dead. Zaccheus didn’t measure up. I guess You can use me too, Lord.”

Today, speaking to thousands of people a year is one of the most rewarding things I get to do. Not because I’m so wonderful. But because Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us so. God continually chooses the most under-qualified to do His work. Perhaps it’s because we know we can’t do it by ourselves. How about you?

Is there something rewarding you’re missing because of fear? Remember that fear is the little darkroom where negatives are developed. So face that fear, prayerfully. You never know what God will do. And when good things happen, never forget who gets the credit.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

Want to read more from Phil?

3 min read


Years ago, my son told me about something called Facebook. I said, “That’s the dumbest idea since the pogo stick….

3 min read

Plugged In

Back to School? Make sure you’re connected to the right source When the school year begins, I like to recall…

3 min read

Faithful Furry Friend

Marks on a tattered measuring chart in our pantry are proof: children grow up fast. Most nights Mojo the faithful…