By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2
Do you ever wonder what in the world God is doing in this crazy writing life?
God, why did I work so hard on that article only to have itrejected?
God, why was that piece chosen, but the one I really love not selected?
God, why did I spend nine months of my life on that project, only to have it sit in my computer going nowhere and reaching no one?
God, why do you fill my head with ideas to write about and wake me up in the middle of the night, then don’t grow my blog as quickly as I’d hoped?
God, if I’m obeying your call to write, why is it so hard?
God, what are you doing in this crazy writing life of mine????
If you can relate to any of these questions, there’s hope. Hope that comes, of all places, from the book of Job.
God is laughing already.
Who would think that a man who had lost ten children in a tragic accident, went from millionaire to pauper in a day, and was married to a cruel, faithless woman would have any hope to offer? But in God’s upside down economy, it’s not surprising at all.
My latest devotional, Refresh Your Faith (due out in the spring of 2020 with Discovery House) spotlights uncommon verses buried in every book of the Bible. Job 26:14 is one of them. In the twenty-sixth chapter of the book that bears his name, he rehearses for his “miserable comforters” the might, power, and majesty of God.
“He hangs the earth on nothing,” he says. “He binds up the water in His thick clouds . . . He stirs up the sea with His power . . . By His Spirit He adorned the heavens . . . "(v. 7-13).
Then he concludes with this awe-struck realization: “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?"
The mere edges of his ways.
I grew up on the rocky shores of Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island. I’d often sit at the shoreline, walk in the shallows, or swim out until my feet barely touched the bottom. Because I had lived around the sea all my life, I thought I knew it well.
Then one day I boarded a ship that took me hundreds of miles off shore, where the water stretched from horizon to horizon and the ocean floor lay miles beneath me. Only then did I begin to understand the true nature of the ocean. Before that, I had experienced the mere edges – and how small a whisper they had been.
After pointing out our nearsighted perspective, Job lifts the fog on the ocean of God’s ways: “But the thunder of his power, who can understand?”
Paul, in First Corinthians, says it like this: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (2:9). And, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror” (13:12).
As Christian writers bound to the earth by our mortality, we glimpse only the mere edges of His ways. And hear only small whispers of Him.
But one day we’ll sail out into the vast expanse of no-time life. We’ll hear the clarion call of His mighty voice. We’ll witness the thunder of His power. And we will understand.
Every word typed in obedience to Him? Seed for the harvest.
Every hour spent hunched over a keyboard? Sandpaper smoothing the edges.
Every late night and early morning session? A fragrant offering.
Every pitch and proposal sent out for His glory? Stepping stones on the journey.
Job can speak into our angst and impatience because he, too, was a frustrated author. He shared our desire to see our words published. He, too, wanted others to benefit from the insight he had received. “I wish that my words were recorded and inscribed in a book,” he lamented in Job 19:23.
I’m not sure what steps his publishing journey included (I suspect it contained a Ghost writer), but I know none of his experiences or his words were wasted. Even today, thousands of years later, God still uses his insight to encourage us along the way.
Perhaps, one day, God will use our words to do the same.
“God is not unjust,” the writer of Hebrews promises, “He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them” (Heb. 6:10).
Now it’s your turn. What verse encourages you when you feel discouraged? Leave a comment and encourage us all.
(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles, and tiramisustudio.)
As writers, our words are never wasted. Every word typed in obedience to God is seed for the harvest. via @LoriHatcher2 (Click to tweet.)
Lori Hatcher is the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine and the author of several devotional books. Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women won the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year award. Her most recent book, Refresh Your Faith – Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible is due out in early 2020. A blogger, writing instructor, and inspirational speaker, her goal is to help women connect with God in the craziness of life You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter (@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest (Hungry for God).