Then, the bottom fell out. She suddenly lost all income sources and bills started piling up. Soon the bank was threatening to take her house.
The girls at the Bible study gathered around and prayed for her. Then, one of the neighbors ventured a suggestion with wide-eyed enthusiasm: “Louise, with all your funny voices, why don’t you go down to a comedy club and perform? Maybe you could make money as a comedienne.”
“Are you serious?” blurted Louise, “I’m shy. The only reason I do voices and escape into personalities of other people is to cover up my own insecurities.”
All the women then piled on, contending it was a good idea.
Finally, they offered her 50 bucks if she had the guts to do it, to which she’d later say, with a shrug, “What could I do? I needed the money.”
Louise arrived at the smoke-filled comedy club on open-mike night, an evening when non-professionals could sign up and perform. She stood in the wings, shaking and questioning: “What am I doing here?”
She tightened her eyes and uttered a prayer, hoping to secure God’s favor by breathlessly repeating a scripture: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
An emcee’s raspy voice rang through a hollow microphone, attempting to read the name of the next performer scribbled on a scrap of paper. Who knew that her very first performance would start with an embarrassing, albeit prophetic, introduction: “Let’s give it up now for ... Lousy DuArt.” There was a smattering of applause.
Louise felt her knees wobbling as she walked to center stage, grasping the mike with a sweaty palm, and looking into a foreboding darkened room.
Let me stop this scene right here and ask ... would YOU have done that? Would you have had the courage to do something you didn’t feel comfortable doing — fueled by nothing but the power of prayer? Would you have had the gumption to step out in faith, onto that stage of fear?
When you do, that’s when God can do His best work. And YOU can receive abundant Godwinks. That’s right. When you step out in faith — with nothing but your preparation and your trust in the Lord — just watch what happens in your life!
Now, back to Louise.
She had no way of knowing who was sitting in the dark in that small audience.
They laughed politely at her Joan Rivers impression.
Then she slipped into her precise replication of Katherine Hepburn and the joke about the atheist who met a bear in the woods. Just as the bear was about to gobble him up, he looked skyward and shouted, “God, if you’re really there ... make this bear a Christian!” At which point the bear dropped to his knees, folded his paws, and said, “Bless this food I’m about to eat.”
The audience roared.
See? She really could do all things through Christ!
Now watch the Godwinks unfold.
Unbeknownst to Louise, sitting in the audience were scouts for the national TV show “Star Search.” They were there to see an act that followed her. But, they liked her … and overnight she went from performing for her little women’s Bible study to national television!
Isn’t that incredible? That was Godwink number one!
But there was another about to unfold.
Watching “Star Search” that night was Donna Summer. The Diva of Disco, at the top of her career. She saw Louise and immediately called her manager. “Get me that girl for my opening act!”
In a matter of days Louise went from down and out ... to stepping out in faith at a scary comedy club ... and on to stages across the country with Donna Summer.
Think about this: my wonderful wife may have still been entertaining the ladies of the neighborhood had it not been for her mustering the courage to do something she never thought she could — to face her fears with faith.
If she hadn’t taken that first step, perhaps her subsequent blessings wouldn’t have followed: starring roles on Broadway, a TV series and co-starring for 15 years with Tim Conway.
Why don’t YOU try that today — stepping out in faith, trying something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the courage. After you prepare to the best of your ability, just ask God to go along, and trust that through all things, Christ will strengthen YOU.
I’ll just bet … God will wink at you, too.