I complained to a friend about not finding the right story for a children’s talk. But my friend showed no sympathy. “Write your own!” she said.
I was taken aback. I had no talent, or even any interest in writing. My life was too busy anyway. But God used her comment, even though it seemed too crazy to consider…
Now, eleven years later, with forty-four re-writes, twenty-seven rejections from publishers, and an illustrator who marched on valiantly, this Creation book has finally come to life!
Yes, there were those who helped me get back up, again and again. There was also a Bible verse. “Do not despise the day of small beginnings.” (Zechariah 4:10)
What is your seemingly-impossible small beginning? Accept every encouragement, and don’t give up!
Coming soon. January 2018. Thank you, Sarah Grace Publishing!
Derek bought me a hat, a green one with a bow in the back. We both like it, but others have not been so positive. “You look eccentric!” “You really look funny!” And the best one.. “Your hat looks like a lily pad!”
I appreciate the honesty. But… there is a wonderful verse in the Bible. It says that God “has made everything beautiful in its time.”* We don’t need to worry about opinions. God created beauty to stand out as different, for that is what beauty is. Each of us is beautiful, regardless of our peculiarities.
I still wear my hat, and when people meet me, they nod and smile. They even stop for a chat. My lily-pad hat might be eccentric, but so is God’s love.
* (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Have you ever been caught in a darkness so deep, you couldn’t see your hands in front of your face, even when you held them right up to your nose? Maybe you decided to sit still and wait things out.
But, imagine, your child starts crying. Deep darkness or not, you feel your way forward, crashing into furniture, calling out comforting words. It takes a desperation to actually walk, without sight, without light. The Bible says, “Let him who walks in the dark and has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)
Are you walking in darkness? I am. Let’s follow the unseen God within our hearts.
I am surrounded by boxes. My rectangle house. My defined job. My acceptance of limitations in life. Yet I still dream of walking on water, of flying like a bird. What about you?
I also dream of writing extraordinary books. But, I have been told there is only one CS Lewis, only one JRR Tolkien, and sometimes I wonder if I should even dare try. That is, until I remember…
Jesus said something so freeing, it tears apart our cardboard walls. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things…” (John 14:12) Faith in Jesus isn’t a limiting box. Faith in Jesus means we can embrace big dreams. It means we can go and do.
I don’t know about you, but I am clamoring for rest. When a friend tells me they are flying somewhere nice, I wish I could too. Even the Bible says, “O, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psa 55:6)
But rest isn’t
just a destination, it’s a person. God says, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Ex 33:14) It doesn’t actually matter where we end up, with God we will always find rest.
I grew up in one country, but spoke another language. Now I live somewhere else. People sometimes ask me which place I call home.
“Home is where my pillow is,” I usually say, but it is much more than that. When I watch films I cry when lost people suddenly find they belong, when runaways return back to loving arms, when estranged families rediscover each other. In real life I too sometimes want to be found.
God said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again.” (Jeremiah 31:3) God opens his arms. He loves right now. No matter where we are in this world, we are home.
I figured life was about being serious, sensitive, and saintly. But I decided to ask God how he had made me. One word came back. Funny. I doubled up in laughter. I purposely stopped being funny at age fourteen. We were at a camp. My father was the director. One morning early, I ran his underclothes up the flagpole. I thought he would laugh. I got that one wrong, but I vowed never to be funny again… Funny what promises God asks us to break.
When any one makes a promise, it is like signing a treaty. Friends promise to look out for their friends. Couples promise to forsake all others. Others promise to fulfill their commitments. But what happens if those treaties are broken?
We hurt. We cry out at the injustice. We feel so alone. But there is a God of compassion, who comforts us in all our troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:4) Let’s fall into HIS arms for comfort. He always keeps his promises.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you… For I am the Lord… your Savior… Do not be afraid.” (Isaiah 43:2-5)
Sometimes it seems like God isn’t there, and we have to cross the river alone. But he puts those stepping stones in the right places. He is with us, even when we can’t see him.
When God said, “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places…” (Isaiah 45:3), it was a promise. A promise always implies hope. It implies that God is able to do what he said.
But what if God had not given that promise, it would have been absurd to expect him to fulfill it. Faith needs a promise. But faith also needs a promise keeper. In the Bible Abraham embraced God’s promises even though they seemed impossible. It says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope, believed,” (Romans 4:18). Abraham couldn’t see how things would work out. He accepted God’s promises in the dark. He trusted God in that darkness.